MicroRNA-200c-141 and ∆Np63 are required for breast epithelial differentiation and branching morphogenesis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The epithelial compartment of the breast contains two lineages, the luminal- and the myoepithelial cells. D492 is a breast epithelial cell line with stem cell properties that forms branching epithelial structures in 3D culture with both luminal- and myoepithelial differentiation. We have recently shown that D492 undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) when co-cultured with endothelial cells. This 3D co-culture model allows critical analysis of breast epithelial lineage development and EMT. In this study, we compared the microRNA (miR) expression profiles for D492 and its mesenchymal-derivative D492M. Suppression of the miR-200 family in D492M was among the most profound changes observed. Exogenous expression of miR-200c-141 in D492M reversed the EMT phenotype resulting in gain of luminal but not myoepithelial differentiation. In contrast, forced expression of ∆Np63 in D492M restored the myoepithelial phenotype only. Co-expression of miR-200c-141 and ∆Np63 in D492M restored the branching morphogenesis in 3D culture underlining the requirement for both luminal and myoepithelial elements for obtaining full branching morphogenesis in breast epithelium. Introduction of a miR-200c-141 construct in both D492 and D492M resulted in resistance to endothelial induced EMT. In conclusion, our data suggests that expression of miR-200c-141 and ∆Np63 in D492M can reverse EMT resulting in luminal- and myoepithelial differentiation, respectively, demonstrating the importance of these molecules in epithelial integrity in the human breast.


External organisations
  • University of Iceland
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-161
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch