The rodent salivary gland is not fully developed at birth and the cellular definitive differentiation takes place postnatally. However, little is known about its molecular mechanism. Results: Here we provide the loss-of-function genetic evidence that Runx signaling affects postnatal development of the submandibular gland (SMG). Core binding factor β (Cbfb) is a cotranscription factor which forms a heterodimer with Runx proteins. Cbfb was specifically expressed in the duct epithelium, specifically in the SMG. Epithelial Cbfb deficiency resulted in decrease in the size of the SMG and in the saliva secretion on postnatal day 35. The Cbfb mutant SMG specifically exhibited involution of the granular convoluted tubules (GCT), with a down-regulated expression of its marker genes, such as Klk1, Ngf, and Egf. The induction of GCT is under the control of androgens, and the Cbfb mutant SMG demonstrated down-regulated expression of Crisp3, an androgen-dependent transcript. Because the circulating testosterone or tissue dihydrotestosterone levels were not affected in the Cbfb mutants, it appears that Runx/Cbfb signaling regulate androgen receptor pathway, but does not affect the circulating testosterone levels or the enzymatic conversion to DHT. Conclusions: Runx signaling is important in the postnatal development of androgen-dependent GCT in the SMG.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology