Integrated morphodynamic signalling of the mammary gland

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Aug 10;12(9):581-93. doi: 10.1038/nrm3168.


The mammary gland undergoes a spectacular series of changes as it develops, and maintains a remarkable capacity to remodel and regenerate for several decades. Mammary morphogenesis has been investigated for over 100 years, motivated by the dairy industry and cancer biologists. Over the past decade, the gland has emerged as a major model system in its own right for understanding the cell biology of tissue morphogenesis. Multiple signalling pathways from several cell types are orchestrated together with mechanical cues and cell rearrangements to establish the pattern of the mammary gland. The integrated mechanical and molecular pathways that control mammary morphogenesis have implications for the developmental regulation of other epithelial organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology
  • Mammary Glands, Human / anatomy & histology*
  • Mammary Glands, Human / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Human / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Systems Integration