Mammary gland development is delayed in mice deficient for aminopeptidase N

Andreas F Kolb, David Sorrell, Caroline Lassnig, Simon Lillico, Ailsa Carlisle, Claire Neil, Claire Robinson, Mathias Müller, C Bruce A Whitelaw

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Development of the mammary gland requires the coordinated action of proteolytic enzymes during two phases of remodelling. Firstly, new ducts and side-branches thereof need to be established during pregnancy to generate an extensive ductal tree allowing the secretion and transport of milk. A second wave of remodelling occurs during mammary involution after weaning. We have analysed the role of the cell surface protease aminopeptidase N (Anpep, APN, CD13) during these processes using Anpep deficient and Anpep over-expressing mice. We find that APN deficiency significantly delays mammary gland morphogenesis during gestation. The defect is characterised by a reduction in alveolar buds and duct branching at mid-pregnancy. Conversely over-expression of Anpep leads to accelerated ductal development. This indicates that Anpep plays a critical role in the proteolytic remodelling of mammary tissue during adult mammary development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number2
Early online date15 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • mammary gland
  • protease
  • gene locus
  • homologous recombination
  • development


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