Research ArticleStem Cell Niche

Stromal Gli2 activity coordinates a niche signaling program for mammary epithelial stem cells

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Science  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6335, eaal3485
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3485

Double duty for mammary stem cell niche

The stem cell niche is a complex local signaling microenvironment that regulates stem cell activity for tissue and organ maintenance and regeneration. As well as responding locally, during puberty, the mammary gland stem cell niche also responds to systemic hormonal signals. Zhao et al. have found that Gli2, a transcriptional effector of Hedgehog signaling, coordinates the niche-signaling program and activates expression of receptors for the mammatrophic hormones estrogen and growth hormone throughout the mammary gland (see the Perspective by Robertson). Disease may result not only from stem cell defects, but also from dysregulation of the microenvironment.

Science, this issue p. eaal3485; see also p. 250