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Biosystems. 2012 Sep;109(3):403-11. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

PI3K signaling in the regulation of branching morphogenesis.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


Branching morphogenesis drives the formation of epithelial organs including the mammary gland, lung, kidney, salivary gland and prostate. Branching at the cellular level also drives development of the nervous and vascular systems. A variety of signaling pathways are orchestrated together to establish the pattern of these branched organs. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling network is of particular interest because of the diverse outcomes it generates, including proliferation, motility, growth, survival and cell death. Here, we focus on the role of the PI3K pathway in the development of branched tissues. Cultured cells, explants and transgenic mice have revealed that the PI3K pathway is critical for the regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis and motility during branching of tissues.

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