Talk:Integumentary System - Mammary Gland Development

From Embryology

Redefining the expression and function of the inhibitor of differentiation 1 in mammary gland development

PLoS One. 2010 Aug 3;5(8):e11947.

Nair R, Junankar S, O'Toole S, Shah J, Borowsky AD, Bishop JM, Swarbrick A.

Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia. Abstract The accumulation of poorly differentiated cells is a hallmark of breast neoplasia and progression. Thus an understanding of the factors controlling mammary differentiation is critical to a proper understanding of breast tumourigenesis. The Inhibitor of Differentiation 1 (Id1) protein has well documented roles in the control of mammary epithelial differentiation and proliferation in vitro and breast cancer progression in vivo. However, it has not been determined whether Id1 expression is sufficient for the inhibition of mammary epithelial differentiation or the promotion of neoplastic transformation in vivo. We now show that Id1 is not commonly expressed by the luminal mammary epithelia, as previously reported. Generation and analysis of a transgenic mouse model of Id1 overexpression in the mammary gland reveals that Id1 is insufficient for neoplastic progression in virgin animals or to prevent terminal differentiation of the luminal epithelia during pregnancy and lactation. Together, these data demonstrate that there is no luminal cell-autonomous role for Id1 in mammary epithelial cell fate determination, ductal morphogenesis and terminal differentiation.

PMID: 20689821

Molecular mechanisms guiding embryonic mammary gland development

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Jun 1;2(6):a003251. Epub 2010 May 19.

Cowin P, Wysolmerski J.

Departments of Cell Biology and Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA. Abstract The mammary gland is an epidermal appendage that begins to form during embryogenesis, but whose development is only completed during pregnancy. Each mammary gland begins as a budlike invagination of the surface ectoderm, which then gives rise to a simple duct system by birth. Subsequent development occurs during sexual maturation and during pregnancy and lactation. In this review, we outline the distinct stages of embryonic mammary development and discuss the molecular pathways involved in the regulation of morphogenesis at each stage. We also discuss the potential relevance of embryonic breast development to the pathophysiology of breast cancer and highlight questions for future research.

PMID: 20484386

Editorial: The mammary stroma in normal development and function

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2010 Sep;15(3):275-7. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Schedin P, Hovey RC.

Abstract The mammary gland can no longer be simply viewed as an organ composed of epithelial cells within a passive stromal microenvironment. Many lines of evidence have evolved to reinforce the notion that mammary epithelial cell growth, differentiation, lactation and progression to cancer involves bidirectional interactions between the epithelial population and its surrounding stroma. Within this stroma are numerous systems that are all capable of modulating epithelial function. In this context, the mammary stroma is not simply a depot of adipose tissue in which mammary epithelial cells undertake a unique growth and differentiation process, although adipocytes can impart numerous modulatory signals to epithelial cells, and vice versa. Rather, the stromal environment constitutes and supports a critical vasculature that supplies nutrients and endocrine cues, a lymphatic system that not only removes metabolites but also provides an intimate interface with the immune system, and an extracellular matrix scaffold in which epithelial cells grow, differentiate and regress. Ultimately all of these components play a critical role in directing the epithelial phenotype during normal mammary gland growth and function. An increasing appreciation for these different systems demands a view of mammary epithelial cells in a much different light, and further necessitates the development of model systems that incorporate and integrate increasing complexity.

PMID: 20824491

Key roles for MED1 LxxLL motifs in pubertal mammary gland development and luminal-cell differentiation

Jiang P, Hu Q, Ito M, Meyer S, Waltz S, Khan S, Roeder RG, Zhang X. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 13;107(15):6765-70. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Mediator recently has emerged as a central player in the direct transduction of signals from transcription factors to the general transcriptional machinery. In the case of nuclear receptors, in vitro studies have shown that the transcriptional coactivator function of the Mediator involves direct ligand-dependent interactions of the MED1 subunit, through its two classical LxxLL motifs, with the receptor AF2 domain. However, despite the strong in vitro evidence, there currently is little information regarding in vivo functions of the LxxLL motifs either in MED1 or in other coactivators. Toward this end, we have generated MED1 LxxLL motif-mutant knockin mice. Interestingly, these mice are both viable and fertile and do not exhibit any apparent gross abnormalities. However, they do exhibit severe defects in pubertal mammary gland development. Consistent with this phenotype, as well as loss of the strong ligand-dependent estrogen receptor (ER)alpha-Mediator interaction, expression of a number of known ERalpha-regulated genes was down-regulated in MED1-mutant mammary epithelial cells and could no longer respond to estrogen stimulation. Related, estrogen-stimulated mammary duct growth in MED1-mutant mice was also greatly diminished. Finally, additional studies show that MED1 is differentially expressed in different types of mammary epithelial cells and that its LxxLL motifs play a role in mammary luminal epithelial cell differentiation and progenitor/stem cell determination. Our results establish a key nuclear receptor- and cell-specific in vivo role for MED1 LxxLL motifs, through Mediator-ERalpha interactions, in mammary gland development.

PMID: 20351249

Transcriptome analyses of mouse and human mammary cell subpopulations reveal multiple conserved genes and pathways

Lim E, Wu D, Pal B, Bouras T, Asselin-Labat ML, Vaillant F, Yagita H, Lindeman GJ, Smyth GK, Visvader JE. Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(2):R21. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

INTRODUCTION: Molecular characterization of the normal epithelial cell types that reside in the mammary gland is an important step toward understanding pathways that regulate self-renewal, lineage commitment, and differentiation along the hierarchy. Here we determined the gene expression signatures of four distinct subpopulations isolated from the mouse mammary gland. The epithelial cell signatures were used to interrogate mouse models of mammary tumorigenesis and to compare with their normal human counterpart subsets to identify conserved genes and networks.

METHODS: RNA was prepared from freshly sorted mouse mammary cell subpopulations (mammary stem cell (MaSC)-enriched, committed luminal progenitor, mature luminal and stromal cell) and used for gene expression profiling analysis on the Illumina platform. Gene signatures were derived and compared with those previously reported for the analogous normal human mammary cell subpopulations. The mouse and human epithelial subset signatures were then subjected to Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) to identify conserved pathways.

RESULTS: The four mouse mammary cell subpopulations exhibited distinct gene signatures. Comparison of these signatures with the molecular profiles of different mouse models of mammary tumorigenesis revealed that tumors arising in MMTV-Wnt-1 and p53-/- mice were enriched for MaSC-subset genes, whereas the gene profiles of MMTV-Neu and MMTV-PyMT tumors were most concordant with the luminal progenitor cell signature. Comparison of the mouse mammary epithelial cell signatures with their human counterparts revealed substantial conservation of genes, whereas IPA highlighted a number of conserved pathways in the three epithelial subsets.

CONCLUSIONS: The conservation of genes and pathways across species further validates the use of the mouse as a model to study mammary gland development and highlights pathways that are likely to govern cell-fate decisions and differentiation. It is noteworthy that many of the conserved genes in the MaSC population have been considered as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signature genes. Therefore, the expression of these genes in tumor cells may reflect basal epithelial cell characteristics and not necessarily cells that have undergone an EMT. Comparative analyses of normal mouse epithelial subsets with murine tumor models have implicated distinct cell types in contributing to tumorigenesis in the different models.

PMID: 20346151