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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 22;108(8):3264-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1019556108. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Self-organization is a dynamic and lineage-intrinsic property of mammary epithelial cells.

Author information

1
Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Loss of organization is a principle feature of cancers; therefore it is important to understand how normal adult multilineage tissues, such as bilayered secretory epithelia, establish and maintain their architectures. The self-organization process that drives heterogeneous mixtures of cells to form organized tissues is well studied in embryology and with mammalian cell lines that were abnormal or engineered. Here we used a micropatterning approach that confined cells to a cylindrical geometry combined with an algorithm to quantify changes of cellular distribution over time to measure the ability of different cell types to self-organize relative to each other. Using normal human mammary epithelial cells enriched into pools of the two principal lineages, luminal and myoepithelial cells, we demonstrated that bilayered organization in mammary epithelium was driven mainly by lineage-specific differential E-cadherin expression, but that P-cadherin contributed specifically to organization of the myoepithelial layer. Disruption of the actomyosin network or of adherens junction proteins resulted in either prevention of bilayer formation or loss of preformed bilayers, consistent with continual sampling of the local microenvironment by cadherins. Together these data show that self-organization is an innate and reversible property of communities of normal adult human mammary epithelial cells.

PMID:
21300877
PMCID:
PMC3044373
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1019556108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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