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Importance of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) in COPD and asthma
  1. Sukhwinder Singh Sohal1,
  2. Chris Ward2,
  3. Eugene Haydn Walters1
  1. 1NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Chronic Respiratory Disease, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  2. 2Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eugene Haydn Walters, NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Chronic Respiratory Disease and School of Medicine, MS1, 17 Liverpool Street, Private Bag 23, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia; sssohal{at}

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We read with interest the recent review article by Bartis et al in Thorax1 and a similar one from some of the same authors in European Respiratory Review,2 addressing the potential importance of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) in lung development and disease. We would like to take issue with the approach used, which is to emphasise ‘molecular patterns’ potentially associated with EMT, rather than starting with any empiric evidence that EMT is present as an active pathological process.

EMT has been differentiated into three different types.3 It is a vital process during embryogenesis (type 1 EMT), …

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