Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 763 - 771 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.113385mm
© UPV/EHU Press

The mammary myoepithelial cell

Mejdi Moumen, Aurélie Chiche, Stéphanie Cagnet, Valérie Petit, Karine Raymond, Marisa M. Faraldo, Marie-Ange Deugnier and Marina A. Glukhova*

CNRS, UMR 144 Institut Curie "Compartimentation et Dynamique Cellulaires", Paris, France

ABSTRACT Over the last few years, the discovery of basal-type mammary carcinomas and the association of the regenerative potential of the mammary epithelium with the basal myoepithelial cell population have attracted considerable attention to this second major mammary lineage. However, many questions concerning the role of basal myoepithelial cells in mammary morphogenesis, functional differentiation and disease remain unanswered. Here, we discuss the mechanisms that control the myoepithelial cell differentiation essential for their contractile function, summarize new data concerning the roles played by cell-extracellular matrix (ECM), intercellular and paracrine interactions in the regulation of various aspects of the mammary basal myoepithelial cell functional activity. Finally, we analyze the contribution of the basal myoepithelial cells to the regenerative potential of the mammary epithelium and tumorigenesis.

Keywords:

differentiation, extracellular matrix, intercellular signaling, stem cells, tumorigenesis

*Corresponding author e-mail: marina.glukhova@curie.fr