Growth defects induced by perturbation of beta1-integrin function in the mammary gland epithelium result from a lack of MAPK activation via the Shc and Akt pathways

EMBO Rep. 2001 May;2(5):431-7. doi: 10.1093/embo-reports/kve086.


Adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) induces intracellular signals that modulate cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. To study signalling events triggered by cell-ECM interactions in vivo we used transgenic mice exhibiting reduced mammary epithelial cell proliferation and increased apoptosis rates during the growth phase in pregnancy and lactation due to expression of a beta1-integrin dominant-negative mutant in the mammary gland epithelium. Here we show that ERK and JNK MAPKs were markedly less activated in lactating transgenic glands thereby accounting for the growth defects. The FAK pathway was not affected suggesting a mechanism of activation additional to the ECM signal. On the contrary, the significant decrease of Shc phosphorylation, Grb2 recruitment and the reduced phosphorylation level of Akt Thr308 and Akt substrates FKHR and Bad detected in transgenic glands show that activation of the Shc and the Akt pathways require intact cell-ECM interactions. These results provide an insight into the mechanisms of growth control by integrin-mediated adhesion that operate in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Integrin beta1 / genetics
  • Integrin beta1 / metabolism*
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Lactation*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / cytology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Integrin beta1
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Shc1 protein, mouse
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ptk2 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases