Ectodysplasin/NF-κB Signaling in Embryonic Mammary Gland Development

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The ectodysplasin (Eda) signaling pathway consists of a TNF-like ligand Eda, its receptor Edar, and an adaptor protein Edaradd and its activation leads to NF-κB mediated transcription. In humans, mutations in the EDA pathway genes cause hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a disorder characterized by defective formation of hair follicles, teeth, and several exocrine glands including the breast. Embryonic mammary gland development proceeds via placode, bud, bulb and sprout stages before the onset of branching morphogenesis. Studies on mouse models have linked Eda with two aspects of embryonic mammary gland morphogenesis: placode induction and ductal growth and branching. Here we summarize the current knowledge on the role of Eda/NF-κB in mammary gland development.

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Fig. 1



Androgen receptor




Eda receptor




Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia


IκB kinase


Nuclear factor-κB




Tumor necrosis factor


Tumor necrosis factor receptor


TNFR-associated factor


X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia


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This work was supported by the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation (MLM) and Helsinki Graduate Program in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (MV).

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Correspondence to Marja L. Mikkola.

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Lindfors, P.H., Voutilainen, M. & Mikkola, M.L. Ectodysplasin/NF-κB Signaling in Embryonic Mammary Gland Development. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 18, 165–169 (2013) doi:10.1007/s10911-013-9277-5

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  • Ectodermal dysplasia
  • HED
  • Breast
  • Placode
  • Branching
  • Duct