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Nature. 2015 Jan 1;517(7532):81-4. doi: 10.1038/nature13851. Epub 2014 Oct 19.

Identification of multipotent mammary stem cells by protein C receptor expression.

Author information

1
The State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.

Abstract

The mammary gland is composed of multiple types of epithelial cells, which are generated by mammary stem cells (MaSCs) residing at the top of the hierarchy. However, the existence of these multipotent MaSCs remains controversial and the nature of such cells is unknown. Here we demonstrate that protein C receptor (Procr), a novel Wnt target in the mammary gland, marks a unique population of multipotent mouse MaSCs. Procr-positive cells localize to the basal layer, exhibit epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition characteristics, and express low levels of basal keratins. Procr-expressing cells have a high regenerative capacity in transplantation assays and differentiate into all lineages of the mammary epithelium by lineage tracing. These results define a novel multipotent mammary stem cell population that could be important in the initiation of breast cancer.

PMID:
25327250
DOI:
10.1038/nature13851
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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