Comparison of the nuclear proteomes of mammary epithelial cells at different stages of functional differentiation

Proteomics. 2007 Jun;7(12):2019-37. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200600994.


The progression of stem cells to proliferating progenitor cells and finally to a quiescent differentiated state is a hallmark of organ development. This process proceeds through distinct steps and is regulated through cell-cell interactions and by systemically and locally acting factors. We have established a cell culture system which recapitulates features of mammary gland development in vitro and allows the comparison of three characteristic differentiation stages. Cell fate decisions relating to proliferation and differentiation are dependent on the function of proteins in the nucleus. Therefore, we have applied proteomic approaches, including 1- and 2-DE coupled with MS and a gel-free system, called protein sequence tag technology (PST), to assess the changes in the nuclear protein composition during differentiation of mammary epithelial cells. We identified about 250 individual proteins which are present in the nucleus of proliferating and functionally differentiated mammary epithelial cells. We functionally categorised the differentially expressed proteins and identified a multitude of proteins that regulate gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. This analysis greatly enriches our global view of the dynamic changes of nuclear proteins during the development of mammary epithelial cells and suggests models for the control of differentiation-specific protein expression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Human / cytology
  • Mammary Glands, Human / metabolism*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Peptides
  • Proteome