Repressor of Estrogen Receptor Activity (REA) Is Essential for Mammary Gland Morphogenesis and Functional Activities: Studies in Conditional Knockout Mice

ArticleinEndocrinology 152(11):4336-49 · August 2011with27 Reads
DOI: 10.1210/en.2011-1100 · Source: PubMed
Estrogen receptor (ER) is a key regulator of mammary gland development and is also implicated in breast tumorigenesis. Because ER-mediated activities depend critically on coregulator partner proteins, we have investigated the consequences of reduction or loss of function of the coregulator repressor of ER activity (REA) by conditionally deleting one allele or both alleles of the REA gene at different stages of mammary gland development. Notably, we find that heterozygosity and nullizygosity for REA result in very different mammary phenotypes and that REA has essential roles in the distinct morphogenesis and functions of the mammary gland at different stages of development, pregnancy, and lactation. During puberty, mice homozygous null for REA in the mammary gland (REAf/f PRcre/+) showed severely impaired mammary ductal elongation and morphogenesis, whereas mice heterozygous for REA (REAf/+ PRcre/+) displayed accelerated mammary ductal elongation, increased numbers of terminal end buds, and up-regulation of amphiregulin, the major paracrine mediator of estrogen-induced ductal morphogenesis. During pregnancy and lactation, mice with homozygous REA gene deletion in mammary epithelium (REAf/f whey acidic protein-Cre) showed a loss of lobuloalveolar structures and increased apoptosis of mammary alveolar epithelium, leading to impaired milk production and significant reduction in growth of their offspring, whereas body weights of the offspring nursed by females heterozygous for REA were slightly greater than those of control mice. Our findings reveal that REA is essential for mammary gland development and has a gene dosage-dependent role in the regulation of stage-specific physiological functions of the mammary gland.
    • "The behavior of our final model has illustrated a significant problem with regard to the use of traditional measurements and terminology for characterizing developmental changes. Mammary gland researchers tend to describe mutant developmental phenotypes as 'delayed' or 'promiscuous' when they see a decrease or increase, respectively, in the distance from the nipple (or lymph node) to the ductal front (a direct measurement of displacement), or in the percent fat pad filled (an indirect measurement of displacement) [50][51][52] . This is misleading language born from a failure to make the distinction between elongation rate and displacement rate and leads to a misunderstanding of the true nature of ductal development. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mathematics is often used to model biological systems. In mammary gland development, mathematical modeling has been limited to acinar and branching morphogenesis and breast cancer, without reference to normal duct formation. We present a model of ductal elongation that exploits the geometrically-constrained shape of the terminal end bud (TEB), the growing tip of the duct, and incorporates morphometrics, region-specific proliferation and apoptosis rates. Iterative model refinement and behavior analysis, compared with biological data, indicated that the traditional metric of nipple to the ductal front distance, or percent fat pad filled to evaluate ductal elongation rate can be misleading, as it disregards branching events that can reduce its magnitude. Further, model driven investigations of the fates of specific TEB cell types confirmed migration of cap cells into the body cell layer, but showed their subsequent preferential elimination by apoptosis, thus minimizing their contribution to the luminal lineage and the mature duct.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016
    • "During pregnancy and lactation, mice with homozygous Rea gene deletion in mammary epithelium showed a loss of lobuloalveolar structures and increased apoptosis of mammary alveolar epithelium, leading to impaired milk production and significant reduction in growth of their offspring. These studies imply that REA is essential for mammary gland development and, has a gene dosage-dependent role in the regulation of stage-specific physiological functions of the mammary glands (Park et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The steroid hormone, 17β-estradiol (E2), plays critical role in various cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and apoptosis, and is essential for reproduction and mammary gland development. E2 actions are mediated by two classical nuclear hormone receptors, estrogen receptor α and β (ERs). The activity of ERs depends on the coordinated activity of ligand binding, post-translational modifications (PTMs), and importantly the interaction with their partner proteins called "coregulators." Because coregulators are proved to be crucial for ER transcriptional activity, and majority of breast cancers are ERα positive, an increased interest in the field has led to the identification of a large number of coregulators. In the last decade, gene knockout studies using mouse models provided impetus to our further understanding of the role of these coregulators in mammary gland development. Several coregulators appear to be critical for terminal end bud (TEB) formation, ductal branching and alveologenesis during mammary gland development. The emerging studies support that, coregulators along with the other ER partner proteins called "pioneer factors" together contribute significantly to E2 signaling and mammary cell fate. This review discusses emerging themes in coregulator and pioneer factor mediated action on ER functions, in particular their role in mammary gland cell fate and development.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the effectiveness of nuclear hormone-receptor complexes is known to depend on coregulator partner proteins, relatively little is known about the roles of coregulators in uterine development and early stages of pregnancy and implantation. Because conventional genetic deletion of the coregulator, repressor of estrogen receptor activity (REA), was embryonic lethal, we here study REA conditional knockout mice generated by cre-loxP recombination, in which REA function was abrogated only in progesterone receptor-expressing tissues, to define the roles of REA in postembryonic stages and in a tissue-specific manner. We find that REA has gene dose-dependent activity impacting uterine development and fertility. Conditional homozygous mutant (REA(d/d)) mice developed to adulthood and showed normal ovarian function, but females were infertile with severely compromised uterine development and function characterized by cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and altered adenogenesis (endometrial gland morphogenesis), resulting in failure of implantation and decidualization. By contrast, mice heterozygous for REA (REA(f/d)) had a very different phenotype, with estradiol treatment resulting in hyperstimulated, large uteri showing increased proliferation of luminal epithelial cells, and enhanced fluid imbibition associated with altered regulation of aquaporins. These REA(f/d) female mice showed a subfertility phenotype with reduced numbers and sizes of litters. These findings highlight that uterine development and regulation of estrogen receptor activities show a bimodal dependence on the gene dosage of REA. Optimal uterine development and functional activities require the normal gene dosage of REA, with partial or complete deletion resulting in hyperresponsiveness or underresponsiveness to hormone and subfertility or infertility, respectively.
    Article · May 2012
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