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Progesterone and Wnt4 control mammary stem cells via myoepithelial crosstalk
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Ovarian hormones increase breast cancer risk by poorly understood mechanisms. We assess the role of progesterone on global stem cell function by serially transplanting mouse mammary epithelia. Progesterone receptor (PR) deletion severely reduces the regeneration capacity of the mammary epithelium. The PR target, receptor activator of Nf-κB ligand (RANKL), is not required for this function, and the deletion of Wnt4 reduces the mammary regeneration capacity even more than PR ablation. A fluorescent reporter reveals so far undetected perinatal Wnt4 expression that is independent of hormone signaling. Pubertal and adult Wnt4 expression is specific to PR+ luminal cells and requires intact PR signaling. Conditional deletion of Wnt4 reveals that this early, previously unappreciated, Wnt4 expression is functionally important. We provide genetic evidence that canonical Wnt signaling in the myoepithelium required PR and Wnt4, whereas the canonical Wnt signaling activities observed in the embryonic mammary bud and in the stroma around terminal end buds are independent of Wnt4. Thus, progesterone and Wnt4 control stem cell function through a luminal-myoepithelial crosstalk with Wnt4 acting independent of PR perinatally. Synopsis This paper ascribes a new role for Wnt4 in pre-pubertal mammary gland development while revealing luminal cells to respond to Wnt activation. During regeneration, Wnt4 interacts with progesterone receptor signaling, correcting previous notions on RANKL signaling in this context. Wnt4 is an essential control factor for mammary epithelial stem cell function. RANKL is not required for mammary gland regeneration potential. Wnt4 activates canonical Wnt signaling in the basal/myoepithelial compartment. Progesterone receptor signaling is required for mammary epithelial Wnt4 expression already during puberty. This paper ascribes a new role for Wnt4 in pre-pubertal mammary gland development while revealing luminal cells to respond to Wnt activation. During regeneration, Wnt4 interacts with progesterone receptor signaling, correcting previous notions on RANKL signaling in this context.
- Molecular Biology and Genetics / Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik 
- Scopus İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / Scopus Indexed Publications Collection 
- WoS İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / WoS Indexed Publications Collection 
- PubMed İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / PubMed Indexed Publications Collection