Maspin plays an important role in mammary gland development

Ming Zhang*, David Magit, Florence Botteri, Heidi Y. Shi, Kongwang He, Minglin Li, Priscilla Furth, Ruth Sager

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Maspin is a unique member of the serpin family, which functions as a class H tumor suppressor gene. Despite its known activity against tumor invasion and motility, little is known about maspin's functions in normal mammary gland development. In this paper, we show that maspin does not act as a tPA inhibitor in the mammary gland. However, targeted expression of maspin by the whey acidic protein gene promoter inhibits the development of lobular- alveolar structures during pregnancy and disrupts mammary gland differentiation. Apoptosis was increased in alveolar cells from transgenic mammary glands at midpregnancy. However, the rate of proliferation was increased in early lactating glands to compensate for the retarded development during pregnancy. These findings demonstrate that maspin plays an important role in mammary development and that its effect is stage dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-287
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999


  • Lobular-alveolar structure
  • Mammary development
  • Maspin
  • Serpin
  • Whey acidic protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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