Dr. Sendurai Mani
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology
Metastasis is the major cause for cancer-related death. During metastasis, cancer cells, which are confined to the primary site by the continued expression of epithelial cell-cell adhesion molecules reactivate a latent embryonic program, known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) (Yang and Mani et al., Cell 2004). Through EMT, cancer cells lose epithelial characteristics, gain mesenchymal traits necessary to invade and migrate to distant site and successfully develop metastasis. In addition, we and others found that the cancer cells also acquire stem cell properties via EMT to colonize efficiently at the distant organs (Mani et al., Cell 2008). At present, our laboratory is investigating the role of CSCs in metastases. For this, we employ epigenetics, metabolism, miRNA, long non-coding RNAs and bioinformatics approach. In addition, we also use various in vitro and in vivo tumor model systems including tissue-specific, inducible, transgenic mouse models. To learn more, please click here.