Peg1/Mest, an imprinted gene, is involved in mammary gland maturation

Shinichi Yonekura, Masaki Ohata, Megumi Tsuchiya, Hitomi Tokita, Moeko Mizusawa, Yukako Tokutake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Imprinted genes, which are specific to mammals, play important roles in cell proliferation, differentiation, ontogeny, and other phenomena. Moreover, these genes are considered crucial in the research of mammalian evolution. In the current study, we investigated the association between the expression of paternally imprinted gene paternally expressed 1/mesoderm-specific transcript (Peg1/Mest) and the maturation of the mammary gland. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of Peg1/Mest gene expression at different stages of mouse mammary gland maturation revealed that its expression increased during gestation but decreased during lactation. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that Peg1/Mest was expressed in mammary epithelial cells. We measured expression levels of Peg1/Mest and E-cadherin during mammary alveoli formation using immunofluorescence staining a cell model for mammary alveoli formation in a 3D culture system. We found that the onset of E-cadherin expression roughly coincided with the peak of Peg1/Mest expression. Moreover, we discovered that the formation and proliferation of alveoli were suppressed in Peg1/Mest knockdown mammary epithelial cells. These results suggest that Peg1/Mest plays a certain role in mammary alveoli formation. To clarify the role of Peg1/Mest in the lactogenic differentiation of mammary epithelial cells, we examined the lactogenic differentiation capability of Peg1/Mest-overexpressing HC11 cells. Application of a differentiation-inducing stimulus did not increase β-casein expression in Peg1/Mest-overexpressing HC11 cells. The current study for the first time reports the involvement of an imprinted gene in mammary gland maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1087
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • acinar morphogenesis
  • differentiation
  • imprinted genes
  • mammary epithelial cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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