Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 4 (6), 224-30

The Importance of Being a Myoepithelial Cell


The Importance of Being a Myoepithelial Cell

Marie-Ange Deugnier et al. Breast Cancer Res.


The mammary myoepithelial cell was named the 'Cinderella of mammary cell biology' in light of the earlier focus on the luminal cell. Mammary myoepithelial cells have recently been described as 'natural tumour suppressors'. We now need to understand more about their origin and to reconsider their place in the complex process of mammary morphogenesis. In the present review, we discuss the lineage segregation of mammary myoepithelial cells and their functions in mammary gland development. These functions include their effects on luminal cell growth and differentiation, their key role in the establishment of the polarised mammary epithelial bilayer and the control of stromal invasion in breast cancer.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 46 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Deugnier MA, Moiseyeva EP, Thiery JP, Glukhova M. Myoepithelial cell differentiation in the developing mammary gland: progressive acquisition of smooth muscle phenotype. Dev Dyn. 1995;204:107–117. - PubMed
    1. Anbazhagan R, Osin PP, Bartkova J, Nathan B, Lane EB, Guster-son BA. The development of epithelial phenotypes in the human fetal and infant breast. J Pathol. 1998;184:197–206. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199802)184:2<197::AID-PATH992>3.3.CO;2-A. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Lazard D, Sastre X, Frid MG, Glukhova MA, Thiery JP, Koteliansky VE. Expression of smooth muscle-specific proteins in myoep-ithelium and stromal myofibroblasts of normal and malignant human breast tissue. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1993;90:999–1003. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Williams JM, Daniel CW. Mammary ductal elongation: differentiation of myoepithelium and basal lamina during branching morphogenesis. Dev Biol. 1983;97:274–290. - PubMed
    1. Smith GH, Medina D. A morphologically distinct candidate for an epithelial stem cell in mouse mammary gland. J Cell Sci. 1988;90:173–183. - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources