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Mammary stem cells, self-renewal pathways, and carcinogenesis

By Suling Liu, Gabriela Dontu and Max S Wicha

Abstract

The mammary gland epithelial components are thought to arise from stem cells that undergo both self-renewal and differentiation. Self-renewal has been shown to be regulated by the Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt pathways and the transcription factor B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (Bmi-1). We review data about the existence of stem cells in the mammary gland and the pathways regulating the self-renewal of these cells. We present evidence that deregulation of the self-renewal in stem cells/progenitors might be a key event in mammary carcinogenesis. If 'tumor stem cells' are inherently resistant to current therapies, targeting stem cell self-renewal pathways might provide a novel approach for breast cancer treatment

Topics: Review
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1186/bcr1021
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1143566
Provided by: PubMed Central

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Citations

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