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Study looks at cell fate specification in mammary stem and progenitor cells

last modified Dec 17, 2013 10:03 AM

25 May 2012

Cross section of a Mammary Duct
Fig: A cross-section of a mammary duct showing the outer layer of basal cells (stained with an antibody to Keratin 14 (green) and the inner layer of luminal cells (stained with an antibody to Keratin 18 (red). Nuclei are in blue. The Zfp157 gene is expressed in the basal layer and controls lineage commitment of the luminal cells.

Study by Professor Christine Watson and colleagues look at cell fate specification in mammary stem and progenitor cells.

In this study the authors identify a novel transcriptional regulator, Zfp157, as a target of Stat6 and demonstrate that Zfp157 regulates mammary progenitor cells by deleting Zfp157 in luminal cells, which resulted in a dramatic shift in the cellular composition of the mammary gland.

Cell fate specification in mammary stem and progenitor cells is not well understood. In this study by Watson and colleagues, the authors identify a novel transcriptional regulator, Zfp157, as a target of Stat6. The authors demonstrate that Zfp157 regulates mammary progenitor cells by deleting Zfp157 in luminal cells, which resulted in a dramatic shift in the cellular composition of the mammary gland. In addition, the authors found that Gata-3 is not an essential regulator of mammary gland morphogenesis and luminal cell differentiation as previously suggested, but is required simply to suppress expression of Zfp157. Thus, this study significantly advances our understanding of the regulation of multipotent alveolar progenitor lineage commitment.

The full article can be read here.