Role of phytochemicals in the inhibition of epithelial–mesenchymal transition in cancer metastasis
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is the process by which epithelial cells become mesenchymal cells, gaining fibroblast-like properties and displaying reduced intercellular adhesion and increased motility. EMT plays an important role in cancer metastasis. Suppressing or reversing EMT is therefore an important way of controlling various cancers. Phytochemicals are important sources of anticancer lead molecules. Natural products have been shown to safely suppress or reverse EMT via the inhibition of associated signalling pathways in various cancer cells. In the present review, we discuss the relevant factors and the role of EMT in cancer metastasis. We then present examples of phytochemicals with a role in the inhibition and reversal of EMT in various cancers, focusing on reports from 2012 to 2016.