ZEB/miR-200 feedback loop: At the crossroads of signal transduction in cancer

Louise Hill, Gareth Browne, Eugene Tulchinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Embryonic differentiation programs of epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial transition (EMT and MET) represent a mechanistic basis for epithelial cell plasticity implicated in cancer. Transcription factors of the ZEB protein family (ZEB1 and ZEB2) and several microRNA species (predominantly miR-200 family members) form a double negative feedback loop, which controls EMT and MET programs in both development and tumorigenesis. In this article, we review crosstalk between the ZEB/miR-200 axis and several signal transduction pathways activated at different stages of tumor development. The close association of ZEB proteins with these pathways is indirect evidence for the involvement of a ZEB/miR-200 loop in tumor initiation, progression and spread. Additionally, the configuration of signaling pathways involving ZEB/miR-200 loop suggests that ZEB1 and ZEB2 may have different, possibly even opposing, roles in some forms of human cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • epithelial mesenchymal transition
  • signal transduction
  • ZEB proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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