Essential function of Wnt-4 in mammary gland development downstream of progesterone signaling

Female reproductive hormones control mammary gland morphogenesis. In the absence of the progesterone receptor (PR) from the mammary epithelium, ductal side-branching fails to occur. We can overcome this defect by ectopic expression of the protooncogene Wnt-1. Transplantation of mammary epithelia from Wnt-4(-)/(-) mice shows that Wnt-4 has an essential role in side-branching early in pregnancy. PR and Wnt-4 mRNAs colocalize to the luminal compartment of the ductal epithelium. Progesterone induces Wnt-4 in mammary epithelial cells and is required for increased Wnt-4 expression during pregnancy. Thus, Wnt signaling is essential in mediating progesterone function during mammary gland morphogenesis.

Published in:
Genes Dev, 14, 6, 650-4
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 USA.

 Record created 2008-01-24, last modified 2018-03-17

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