TGF-β regulates Sca-1 expression and plasticity of pre-neoplastic mammary epithelial stem cells

Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 9;10(1):11396. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-67827-4.


The epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity, in tight association with stemness, contributes to the mammary gland homeostasis, evolution of early neoplastic lesions and cancer dissemination. Focused on cell surfaceome, we used mouse models of pre-neoplastic mammary epithelial and cancer stem cells to reveal the connection between cell surface markers and distinct cell phenotypes. We mechanistically dissected the TGF-β family-driven regulation of Sca-1, one of the most commonly used adult stem cell markers. We further provided evidence that TGF-β disrupts the lineage commitment and promotes the accumulation of tumor-initiating cells in pre-neoplastic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxin-1 / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor / transplantation
  • Cell Plasticity / genetics
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / pathology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • Ataxin-1
  • Atxn1 protein, mouse
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2