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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Dec 18;390(3):1040-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.10.104. Epub 2009 Oct 24.

R-spondin1 is required for normal epithelial morphogenesis during mammary gland development.

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INRA, UMR1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, F-78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France.


The R-spondin (Rspo) proteins constitute a novel class of ligands that induce Wnt signalling. Rspo1 knockout XX mice were previously shown to be sex-reversed, but some remain sub-fertile. These last were unable to feed their pups for some unknown reason. Using these mice and transplanted mammary tissues from Rspo1(-/-) virgin mice in nude mice, we report that the lack of Rspo1 expression results in the absence of duct side-branching development and subsequent alveolar formation, explaining the above mentioned phenotype. Our data demonstrate that local epithelial Rspo1 signalling is required for normal development of the mammary gland.

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