The susceptibility of the mammary gland to carcinogenesis is influenced by its normal development, particularly during developmental stages such as puberty and pregnancy that are characterized by marked changes in proliferation and differentiation. Protein kinases are important regulators of proliferation and differentiation, as well as of neoplastic transformation, in a wide array of tissues, including the breast. Using a RT- PCR-based cloning strategy, we have identified 41 protein kinases that are expressed in breast cancer cell lines and in the murine mammary gland during development. The expression of each of these kinases was analyzed throughout postnatal mammary gland development as well as in a panel of mammary epithelial cell lines derived from distinct transgenic models of breast cancer. Although the majority of protein kinases isolated in this screen have no currently recognized role in mammary development, most kinases examined were found to exhibit developmental regulation. After kinases were clustered on the basis of similarities in their temporal expression profiles during mammary development, multiple distinct patterns of expression were observed. Analysis of these patterns revealed an ordered set of expression profiles in which successive waves of kinase expression occur during development. Interestingly, several protein kinases whose expression has previously been reported to be restricted to tissues other than the mammary gland were isolated in this screen and found to be expressed in the mammary gland. In aggregate, these findings suggest that the array of kinases participating in the regulation of normal mammary development is considerably broader than currently appreciated. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology