Paracrine signaling in mammary gland development: what can we learn about intratumoral heterogeneity?

Breast Cancer Res. 2014 Jan 29;16(1):202. doi: 10.1186/bcr3610.


Paracrine signaling mechanisms play a critical role in both normal mammary gland development and breast cancer. Dissection of these mechanisms using genetically engineered mouse models has provided significant insight into our understanding of the mechanisms that guide intratumoral heterogeneity. In the following perspective, we briefly review some of the emerging concepts in this field and emphasize why elucidation of these pathways will be important for future progress in devising new and improved combinatorial therapeutic approaches for breast and other solid cancers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / embryology*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / growth & development*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / genetics*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / pathology
  • Mice
  • Paracrine Communication / genetics*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • EGFR protein, mouse
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2