TWIST and ovarian cancer stem cells: implications for chemoresistance and metastasis

Sudhakar V. Nuti, Gil Mor _, Peiyao Li and Gang Yin

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:7260-7271. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2428

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Sudhakar V. Nuti1, Gil Mor1, Peiyao Li2 and Gang Yin2

1 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

2 Department of Pathology, School of Basic Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China


Gil Mor, email:

Gang Yin, email:

Keywords: ovarian cancer stem cells, EMT, MET, TWIST1, chemoresistance

Received: July 08, 2014 Accepted: September 02, 2014 Published: September 03, 2014


The transcription factor TWIST1 is a highly evolutionally conserved basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) transcription factor that functions as a master regulator of gastrulation and mesodermal development. Although TWIST1 was initially associated with embryo development, an increasing number of studies have shown TWIST1 role in the regulation of tissue homeostasis, primarily as a regulator of inflammation. More recently, TWIST1 has been found to be involved in the process of tumor metastasis through the regulation of Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). The objective of this review is to examine the normal functions of TWIST1 and its role in tumor development, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer. We discuss the potential role of TWIST1 in the context of ovarian cancer stem cells and its influence in the process of tumor formation.

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