Kahata K, Maturi V, Moustakas A
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 10 (3) - [2018-03-01; online 2018-03-01]
Epithelial cells contribute to the development of various vital organs by generating tubular and/or glandular architectures. The fully developed forms of ductal organs depend on processes of branching morphogenesis, whereby frequency, total number, and complexity of the branching tissue define the final architecture in the organ. Some ductal tissues, like the mammary gland during pregnancy and lactation, disintegrate and regenerate through periodic cycles. Differentiation of branched epithelia is driven by antagonistic actions of parallel growth factor systems that mediate epithelial-mesenchymal communication. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family members and their extracellular antagonists are prominently involved in both normal and disease-associated (e.g., malignant or fibrotic) ductal tissue patterning. Here, we discuss collective knowledge that permeates the roles of TGF-β family members in the control of the ductal tissues in the vertebrate body.