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Although the existence of mammary stem cells has been suggested by serial transplantation studies in mice, their identification has been hindered by the lack of specific surface markers, and by the absence of suitable in vitro assays for testing stem cell properties: self-renewal and ability to generate differentiated progeny. We have developed an in vitro(More)
Tumors may be initiated and maintained by a cellular subcomponent that displays stem cell properties. We have used the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase as assessed by the ALDEFLUOR assay to isolate and characterize cancer stem cell (CSC) populations in 33 cell lines derived from normal and malignant mammary tissue. Twenty-three of the 33 cell lines(More)
INTRODUCTION Notch signaling has been implicated in the regulation of cell-fate decisions such as self-renewal of adult stem cells and differentiation of progenitor cells along a particular lineage. Moreover, depending on the cellular and developmental context, the Notch pathway acts as a regulator of cell survival and cell proliferation. Abnormal(More)
The main focus of this review is the role of mammary stem cells in normal breast development and carcinogenesis. We have developed a new in vitro culture system that permits, for the first time, the propagation of mammary stem and progenitor cells in an undifferentiated state, which should facilitate the elucidation of pathways that regulate normal mammary(More)
The mammary gland epithelial components are thought to arise from stem cells that undergo both self-renewal and differentiation. Self-renewal has been shown to be regulated by the Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt pathways and the transcription factor B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (Bmi-1). We review data about the existence of stem cells in the mammary gland(More)
Recently, substantial progress has been made in the identification and characterization of stem and progenitor cells in the mouse and human mammary gland. Furthermore, there is accumulating evidence that these cells might be targets for transformation during mammary carcinogenesis. On the basis of this stem cell concept, we propose a model in which the(More)
The bone marrow (BM) is a major organ of breast cancer (BC) dormancy and a common source of BC resurgence. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between BC cells (BCCs) and BM stroma facilitates dormancy. This study reports on a hierarchy of BCCs with the most immature subset (Oct4(hi)/CD44(hi/med)/CD24(-/+)) demonstrating chemoresistance,(More)
Although estrogen and progesterone play a key role in normal mammary development and in breast cancer, the potential for proliferation and lineage differentiation as well as origin of cells that express the estrogen receptor (ER) in normal breast epithelium are not known. Some evidence suggests that normal human mammary stem/progenitor cells are ER–, but(More)
Lately, understanding the role of cancer stem cells in tumor initiation and progression became a major focus in stem cell biology and in cancer research. Considerable efforts, such as the recent studies by Honeth and colleagues, published in the June issue of Breast Cancer Research, are directed towards developing clinical applications of the cancer stem(More)