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Progesterone drives mammary secretory differentiation via RankL-induction of Elf5 in luminal progenitor cells.


Progesterone-RankL paracrine signaling has been proposed as a driver of stem cell expansion in the mammary gland, and Elf5 is essential for the differentiation of mammary epithelial progenitor cells. We demonstrate that Elf5 expression is induced by progesterone and that Elf5 and progesterone cooperate to promote alveolar development. The progesterone receptor and Elf5 are expressed in a mutually exclusive pattern, and we identify RankL as the paracrine mediator of the effects of progesterone on Elf5 expression in CD61+ progenitor cells and their consequent differentiation. Blockade of RankL action prevented progesterone-induced side branching and the expansion of Elf5+ mature luminal cells. These findings describe a mechanism by which steroid hormones can produce the expansion of steroid hormone receptor-negative mammary epithelial cells.

Type Journal
Authors Lee, H.J.; Gallego-Ortega, D.; Ledger, A.; Schramek, D.; Joshi, P.; Szwarc, M.M.; Cho, C.; Lydon, J.P.; Khokka, R.; Penninger, J.; Ormandy, C.J.;
Publisher Name DEVELOPMENT
Published Date 2013-02-01
Published Pages 1397-1401
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1242/dev.088948
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version