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PLoS One. 2010 May 18;5(5):e10691. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010691.

Loss of the heparan sulfate sulfotransferase, Ndst1, in mammary epithelial cells selectively blocks lobuloalveolar development in mice.

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1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Considerable evidence indicates that heparan sulfate is essential for the development of tissues consisting of branching ducts and tubules. However, there are few examples where specific sulfate residues regulate a specific stage in the formation of such tissues.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We examined the role of heparan sulfation in mammary gland branching morphogenesis, lactation and lobuloalveolar development by inactivation of heparan sulfate GlcNAc N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase genes (Ndst) in mammary epithelial cells using the Cre-loxP system. Ndst1 deficiency resulted in an overall reduction in glucosamine N-sulfation and decreased binding of FGF to mammary epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Mammary epithelia lacking Ndst1 underwent branching morphogenesis, filling the gland with ductal tissue by sexual maturity to the same extent as wildtype epithelia. However, lobuloalveolar expansion did not occur in Ndst1-deficient animals, resulting in insufficient milk production to nurture newly born pups. Lactational differentiation of isolated mammary epithelial cells occurred appropriately via stat5 activation, further supporting the notion that the lack of milk production was due to lack of expansion of the lobuloalveoli.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

These findings demonstrate a selective, highly penetrant, cell autonomous effect of Ndst1-mediated sulfation on lobuloalveolar development.

PMID:
20502530
PMCID:
PMC2872662
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0010691
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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