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Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Dec;31(23):4775-88. doi: 10.1128/MCB.05646-11. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Survival and differentiation of mammary epithelial cells in mammary gland development require nuclear retention of Id2 due to RANK signaling.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, San 56-1, Silim-Dong, Gwanak-Gu, Seoul 151-747, South Korea.


RANKL plays an essential role in mammary gland development during pregnancy. However, the molecular mechanism by which RANK signaling leads to mammary gland development is largely unknown. We report here that RANKL stimulation induces phosphorylation of Id2 at serine 5, which leads to nuclear retention of Id2. In lactating Id2Tg; RANKL(-/-) mice, Id2 was not phosphorylated and was localized in the cytoplasm. In addition, in lactating Id2(S5A)Tg mice, Id2(S5A) (with serine 5 mutated to alanine) was exclusively localized in the cytoplasm of mammary epithelial cells (MECs), while endogenous Id2 was localized in the nucleus. Intriguingly, nuclear expression of Id2(S5A) rescued increased apoptosis and defective differentiation of MECs in RANKL(-/-) mice. Our results demonstrate that nuclear retention of Id2 due to RANK signaling plays a decisive role in the survival and differentiation of MECs during mammary gland development.

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