Dystroglycan: Emerging roles in mammary gland function

M. Lynn Weir, John Muschler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Dystroglycan (DG) is a single receptor that binds to multiple basement membrane proteins and forms a transmembrane link to the actin cytoskeleton. It was first isolated as a component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, which plays a role in the maintenance of muscle cell integrity and is defective in many muscular dystrophies. Although studied most extensively in muscle tissues, DG is present at most cell-basement membrane interfaces, and only recently has investigation of DG functions in nonmuscle cells gained momentum. Information emerging from recent studies in epithelial cells is implicating DG in a wide range of critical cell responses to the basement membrane, ranging from organization of tissue architecture to cell survival. Moreover, DG functions appear to be frequently absent in carcinoma cells, implicating its loss in cancer progression. Although many questions remain as to its precise role in mammary tissue, DG is emerging as a potentially important player in mammary gland function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast
  • Carcinoma
  • Dystroglycan
  • Epithelial
  • Laminin
  • Mammary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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