An Overwiev of the Neural Crest Cells and Tumor Metastasis
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Neural crest cells (NCCs) derived from neuroectoderm are multipotential cells. NCCs leave the neuroepithelium and migrate to various tissues by epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In this areas NCCs differentiate to variety of cells including melanocytes, glia cells, chromaffin cells. Cancer is a complex process which involves a dinamic interaction between tumor cells and surrounding micrenvironment. Cancer cells similar to neural crest cells leave their own environments and metastasize into a different tissue. The development of the neural crest and that of cancer progression share paralel morphological and molecular characteristics. Many signalling pathway and transcription factors are mutual for both processes. To investigate neural crest developmental mechanisms will provide a better understanding for cancer development, progression and metastasis.