The ∆Np63 isoform of the p53-family transcription factor Trp63 is a key regulator of mammary epithelial stem cells that is involved in breast cancer development. To investigate the role of ∆Np63 at different stages of normal mammary gland development, we generated a ∆Np63-inducible conditional knockout (cKO) mouse model. We demonstrate that the deletion of ∆Np63 at puberty results in depletion of mammary stem cell-enriched basal cells, reduces expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin, and leads to a closed ductal lumen. RNA-sequencing analysis reveals reduced expression of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS)-associated proteins and desmosomal polarity proteins. Functional assays show reduced numbers of mitochondria in the mammary epithelial cells of ΔNp63 cKO compared to wild-type, supporting the reduced OXPHOS phenotype. These findings identify a novel role for ∆Np63 in cellular metabolism and mammary epithelial cell polarity.
Keywords: OXPHOS; mammary gland; polarity; stem cells; ∆Np63.
© 2019 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.