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Breast Cancer Res. 2005;7(3):86-95. Epub 2005 Mar 30.

Mammary stem cells, self-renewal pathways, and carcinogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. sulingl@med.umich.edu

Abstract

The mammary gland epithelial components are thought to arise from stem cells that undergo both self-renewal and differentiation. Self-renewal has been shown to be regulated by the Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt pathways and the transcription factor B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (Bmi-1). We review data about the existence of stem cells in the mammary gland and the pathways regulating the self-renewal of these cells. We present evidence that deregulation of the self-renewal in stem cells/progenitors might be a key event in mammary carcinogenesis. If 'tumor stem cells' are inherently resistant to current therapies, targeting stem cell self-renewal pathways might provide a novel approach for breast cancer treatment.

PMID:
15987436
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1143566
Free PMC Article

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