Epigenetics of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic carcinoma

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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal malignant diseases with late diagnosis, rapid progression, high invasiveness, and early metastasis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial step in metastasis that enables polarized immotile epithelial cells to gain fibroblast-like mesenchymal abilities such as enhanced motility. The dynamic process of EMT in PDAC with its powerful influence on disease progression and especially metastasis is of vigorous interest in biomedical research to elucidate its signaling pathways and regulation mechanisms. It is evident that epigenetics such as histone and DNA modification or noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs are of high importance in initiation and progress of EMT in PDAC. This review analyzes the latest research dealing with EMT and its epigenetic regulation in PDAC and summarizes its potentials in diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic management.

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