Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Biophysical and Biochemical Attributes of Hybrid Epithelial/Mesenchymal Phenotypes

Version 1 : Received: 20 August 2021 / Approved: 23 August 2021 / Online: 23 August 2021 (14:32:04 CEST)

How to cite: Ayalur Raghu, S.; Ashraf, B.; Jolly, M.K. Biophysical and Biochemical Attributes of Hybrid Epithelial/Mesenchymal Phenotypes. Preprints 2021, 2021080453 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0453.v1). Ayalur Raghu, S.; Ashraf, B.; Jolly, M.K. Biophysical and Biochemical Attributes of Hybrid Epithelial/Mesenchymal Phenotypes. Preprints 2021, 2021080453 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0453.v1).

Abstract

The Epithelial- Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a biological phenomenon associated with explicit phenotypic and molecular changes in cellular traits. Unlike the earlier-held popular belief of it being a binary process, EMT is now thought of as a landscape including diverse hybrid E/M phenotypes manifested by varying degrees of the transition. These hybrid cells can co-express both epithelial and mesenchymal markers and/or functional traits, and can possess the property of collective cell migration, enhanced tumor-initiating ability, and immune/targeted therapy-evasive features, all of which are often associated with worse patient outcomes. These characteristics of the hybrid E/M cells have led to a surge in studies that map their biophysical and biochemical hallmarks that can be helpful in exploiting their therapeutic vulnerabilities. This review discusses recent advances made in investigating hybrid E/M phenotype(s) from diverse biophysical and biochemical aspects by integrating live cell-imaging, cellular morphology quantification and mathematical modeling, and highlights a set of questions that remain unanswered about the dynamics of hybrid E/M states.

Keywords

Hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal phenotypes; Collective cell migration; epithelial-mesenchymal heterogeneity; mathematical modeling; cell-state transition; live-cell imaging

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