Transcriptional and spatiotemporal regulation of prolactin receptor mRNA and cooperativity with progesterone receptor function during ductal branch growth in the mammary gland

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Section, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, NIH, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1402, USA.
Developmental Dynamics (Impact Factor: 2.38). 10/2001; 222(2):192-205. DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.1179
Source: PubMed


Ductal branching within the mammary gland is stimulated by prolactin (PRL) and progesterone (P) acting through their receptors (PRLR and PR). Analysis of mammary gland PRLR expression revealed increasing expression of the long form (L-PRLR) and two of the three short forms (S1- and S3-PRLR) during puberty that became maximal late in pubescence and early gestation, then declined during gestation. By contrast, S2-PRLR mRNA levels remained constant. Examination of stromal PRLR revealed the consistent expression of L-PRLR mRNA. By contrast, S1-PRLR was present only in the mammary fat pad of neonates, whereas high neonatal expression of S2-PRLR became undetectable during puberty. Stromal expression of S3-PRLR decreased to low levels during puberty and was undetectable during lactation and involution. Exogenous PRL stimulated DNA synthesis in both epithelial and adjacent stromal cells in vivo. Distribution of PRLR mRNA in mammary epithelium was homogeneous before puberty and heterogeneous during puberty, gestation, and early lactation. A mutual role for PRLR and PR was suggested wherein PR mRNA increased beyond 6 weeks to maximal levels during puberty and gestation then became undetectable during lactation. In situ hybridization revealed that PR mRNA distribution is homogeneous in the ductal epithelium before 6 weeks and heterogenous during puberty and gestation and that PRLR and PR are similarly distributed in the ductal epithelium. Neither hormone stimulated DNA synthesis in mammary glands of ovariectomized females while their effects interacted markedly. These results demonstrate differential PRLR transcription by epithelial and stromal cells and a similar distribution of PRLR and PR that may facilitate the interaction between P and PRL during ductal branching in the mammary gland.

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Available from: Josephine F Trott
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    • "The ability of P acting through PR to upregulate AREG expression is consistent with previous studies in the adult mouse mammary gland [27] and mouse uterus [28]. ERα and PR generally colocalize to the same epithelial cells in the pubertal mammary gland [14], and thus AREG is produced within the same luminal epithelial cell population, whether stimulated by P or 17-β-estradiol (E2). AREG induced by either P or E2 binds to the EGFR, and EGFR inhibition abrogated the effect of AREG on EB formation and proliferation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Puberty is a period of increased susceptibility to factors that cause increased breast cancer risk in adulthood. Mammary end buds (EBs) that develop during puberty are believed to be the targets of breast cancer initiation. Whereas the role of estrogen (E) has been extensively studied in pubertal mammary gland development, the role of progesterone (P) during puberty is less defined. Methods: Pubertal and prepubertal ovariectomized mice were treated with vehicle control (C), E, P, or E+P. Mammary glands from these mice were analyzed for changes in morphology, proliferation, and expression of the downstream targets amphiregulin (AREG) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Results: P, acting specifically through the progesterone receptor, induced increases in mammary gland proliferation and EB formation that were associated with increased AREG expression in ducts and EBs. E, acting specifically through the estrogen receptor, produced similar responses also mediated by AREG. Blocking AREG action by treatment with an EGFR inhibitor completely abrogated the effect of P on EB formation and proliferation and significantly reduced proliferation within ducts. P also increased expression of RANKL, primarily in ducts. Treatment with RANK-Fc, an inhibitor of RANKL, reduced P-dependent proliferation in ducts and to a lesser extent in EB, but did not cause EB regression. Conclusions: These results demonstrate a novel P-specific effect through AREG to cause EB formation and proliferation in the developing mammary gland both before and during puberty. Thus, hormones and/or factors in addition to E that upregulate AREG can promote mammary gland development and have the potential to affect breast cancer risk associated with pubertal mammary gland development.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Breast cancer research: BCR
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    • "Because phosphorylation of STAT5 in virgin mammary epithelium is strictly dependent on the presence of the prolactin receptor [32], our data demonstrate that hormone-sensing cells are the principal responders to prolactin in the virgin state. This is consistent with previous studies that described a similar pattern for progesterone-receptor and prolactin-receptor expression in virgin mammary glands [44,45]. Moreover, a study with ovariectomized mice showed that soon after estrogen and progesterone injection, STAT5 was localized to the nucleus of steroid-receptor-positive cells specifically, with translocation to the cytoplasm on inhibition of pituitary prolactin secretion [46], again illustrating the capacity of hormone-sensing cells to respond to prolactin. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The molecular circuitry of different cell types dictates their normal function as well as their response to oncogene activation. For instance, mice lacking the Wip1 phosphatase (also known as PPM1D; protein phosphatase magnesium-dependent 1D) have a delay in HER2/neu (human epidermal growth factor 2), but not Wnt1-induced mammary tumor formation. This suggests a cell type-specific reliance on Wip1 for tumorigenesis, because alveolar progenitor cells are the likely target for transformation in the MMTV(mouse mammary tumor virus)-neu but not MMTV-wnt1 breast cancer model. Methods In this study, we used the Wip1-knockout mouse to identify the cell types that are dependent on Wip1 expression and therefore may be involved in the early stages of HER2/neu-induced tumorigenesis. Results We found that alveolar development during pregnancy was reduced in Wip1-knockout mice; however, this was not attributable to changes in alveolar cells themselves. Unexpectedly, Wip1 allows steroid hormone-receptor-positive cells but not alveolar progenitors to activate STAT5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5) in the virgin state. In the absence of Wip1, hormone-receptor-positive cells have significantly reduced transcription of RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand) and IGF2 (insulin-like growth factor 2), paracrine stimulators of alveolar development. In the MMTV-neu model, HER2/neu activates STAT5 in alveolar progenitor cells independent of Wip1, but HER2/neu does not override the defect in STAT5 activation in Wip1-deficient hormone-sensing cells, and paracrine stimulation remains attenuated. Moreover, ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) activation by HER2/neu in hormone-sensing cells is also Wip1 dependent. Conclusions We identified Wip1 as a potentiator of prolactin and HER2/neu signaling strictly in the molecular context of hormone-sensing cells. Furthermore, our findings highlight that hormone-sensing cells convert not only estrogen and progesterone but also prolactin signals into paracrine instructions for mammary gland development. The instructive role of hormone-sensing cells in premalignant development suggests targeting Wip1 or prolactin signaling as an orthogonal strategy for inhibiting breast cancer development or relapse.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Breast cancer research: BCR
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    • "Transgenic mice that overexpress PR-A demonstrate extensive lateral side-branching at 10–14 weeks of age compared to wild type controls [2]. Additionally, EpH4 cells are a normal mammary epithelial cell line derived from mammary gland of a mouse in the mid-gestation stage [3] and studies [4], [5] have shown that PR is downregulated at this stage. Previously, we showed that stable transfection of PR-A into EpH4 mouse mammary epithelial cells enhanced branching morphogenesis on collagen gels through upregulation of transcription of the homeobox gene Msx2 [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previously we demonstrated that EpH4 mouse mammary epithelial cells induced the homeobox transcription factor Msx2 either when transfected with the progesterone receptor (PR) or when treated with Bmp2/4. Msx2 upregulation was unaffected by Wnt inhibitors s-FRP or Dkk1, but was inhibited by the Bmp antagonist Noggin. We therefore hypothesized that PR signaling to Msx2 acts through the Bmp receptor pathway. Herein, we confirm that transcripts for Alk2/ActR1A, a non-canonical BmpR Type I, are upregulated in mammary epithelial cells overexpressing PR (EpH4-PR). Increased phosphorylation of Smads 1,5, 8, known substrates for Alk2 and other BmpR Type I proteins, was observed as was their translocation to the nucleus in EpH4-PR cells. Analysis also showed that Tissue Non-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (TNAP/Akp2) was also found to be downregulated in EpH4-PR cells. When an Akp2 promoter-reporter construct containing a ½PRE site was transfected into EpH4-PR cells, its expression was downregulated. Moreover, siRNA mediated knockdown of Akp2 increased both Alk2 and Msx2 expression. Collectively these data suggest that PR inhibition of Akp2 results in increased Alk2 activity, increased phosphorylation of Smads 1,5,8, and ultimately upregulation of Msx2. These studies imply that re-activation of the Akp2 gene could be helpful in downregulating aberrant Msx2 expression in PR+ breast cancers.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · PLoS ONE
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