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Suppression of mammary epithelial cell differentiation by the helix-loop-helix protein Id-1.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Molecular and cellular biology
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
6
Pages
3398–3404
Identifiers
PMID: 7760836
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cell proliferation and differentiation are precisely coordinated during the development and maturation of the mammary gland, and this balance invariably is disrupted during carcinogenesis. Little is known about the cell-specific transcription factors that regulate these processes in the mammary gland. The mouse mammary epithelial cell line SCp2 grows well under standard culture conditions but arrests growth, forms alveolus-like structures, and expresses beta-casein, a differentiation marker, 4 to 5 days after exposure to basement membrane and lactogenic hormones (differentiation signals). We show that this differentiation entails a marked decline in the expression of Id-1, a helix-loop-helix (HLH) protein that inactivates basic HLH transcription factors in other cell types. SCp2 cells stably transfected with an Id-1 expression vector grew more rapidly than control cells under standard conditions, but in response to differentiation signals, they arrested growth and formed three-dimensional structures similar to those of control cells. Id-1-expressing cells did not, however, express beta-casein. Moreover, 8 to 10 days after receiving differentiation signals, they lost three-dimensional organization, invaded the basement membrane, and then resumed growth. SCp2 cells expressing an Id-1 antisense vector grew more slowly than controls; in response to differentiation signals, they remained stably growth arrested and fully differentiated, as did control cells. We suggest that Id-1 renders cells refractory to differentiation signals and receptive to growth signals by inactivating one or more basic HLH proteins that coordinate growth and differentiation in the mammary epithelium.

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