Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) was first discovered during the transition of cells from the primitive streak during embryogenesis in chicks. It was later discovered that EMT holds greater potential in areas other than the early development of cells and tissues since it also plays a vital role in wound healing and cancer development. EMT can be classified into three types based on physiological functions. EMT type 3, which involves neoplastic development and metastasis, has been the most thoroughly explored. As EMT is often found in cancer stem cells, most research has focused on its association with other factors involving cancer progression, including telomeres. However, as telomeres are also mainly involved in aging, any possible interaction between the two would be worth noting, especially as telomere dysfunction also contributes to cancer and other age-related diseases. Ascertaining the balance between degeneration and cancer development is crucial in cell biology, in which telomeres function as a key regulator between the two extremes. The essential roles that EMT and telomere protection have in aging reveal a potential mutual interaction that has not yet been explored, and which could be used in disease therapy. In this review, the known functions of EMT and telomeres in aging are discussed and their potential interaction in age-related diseases is highlighted.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.