Mammary glands are unique organs in which major adaptive changes occur in morphogenesis and development after birth. Breast cancer is the most common cancer and a major cause of mortality in females worldwide. We have previously identified the loss of expression of the transcription regulator DC-SCRIPT (Zfp366) as a prominent prognostic event in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients. DC-SCRIPT affects multiple transcriptional events in breast cancer cells, including estrogen and progesterone receptor-mediated transcription, and promotes CDKN2B-related cell cycle arrest. As loss of DC-SCRIPT expression appears an early event in breast cancer development, we here investigated the role of DC-SCRIPT in mammary gland development using wild-type and DC-SCRIPT knockout mice. Mice lacking DC-SCRIPT exhibited severe breeding problems and showed significant growth delay relative to littermate wild-type mice. Subsequent analysis revealed that DC-SCRIPT was expressed in mouse mammary epithelium and that DC-SCRIPT deficiency delayed mammary gland morphogenesis in vivo. Finally, analysis of 3D mammary gland organoid cultures confirmed that loss of DC-SCRIPT dramatically delayed mammary organoid branching in vitro. The study shows for the first time that DC-SCRIPT deficiency delays mammary gland morphogenesis in vivo and in vitro. These data define DC-SCRIPT as a novel modulator of mammary gland development.
- 3D culture
- Mammary gland morphogenesis