Loss of Fam20c causes defects in the acinar and duct structure of salivary glands in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Family with sequence similarity 20memberC (FAM20C), a recently characterized Golgi kinase, performs numerous biological functions by phosphorylating more than 100secreted proteins. However, the role of FAM20C in the salivary glands remains undefined. The present study demonstrated that FAM20C is mainly located in the cytoplasm of duct epithelial cells in the salivary glands. Fam20cf/f; MmtvCre mice were created in which Fam20c was inactivated in the salivary gland cells and observed that the number of ducts and the ductal crosssectional area increased significantly, while the number of acinar cells was reduced. The granular convoluted tubules (GCTs) exhibited an accumulation of aberrant secretory granules, along with a reduced expression and altered distribution patterns of nerve growth factor, amylase and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4. This abnormality suggested that the GCT cells were immature and exhibited defects in developmental and secretory functions. In accordance with the morphological alterations and the reduced number of acinar cells, FAM20C deficiency in the salivary glands significantly decreased the salivary flow rate. The Na+, Cl- and K+ concentrations in the saliva were all significantly increased due to dysfunction of the ducts. Furthermore, Fam20c deficiency significantly increased BMP2 and BMP7 expression, decreased BMP4 expression, and attenuated the canonical and noncanonical BMP signaling pathways in the salivary glands. Collectively, the results of the present study demonstrate that FAM20C is a key regulator of acinar and duct structure and duct maturation and provide a novel avenue for investigating novel therapeutic targets for oral diseases including xerostomia.

published proceedings

  • Int J Mol Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Miao, N., Zhan, Y., Xu, Y., Yuan, H., Qin, C., Lin, F., ... Zhang, B.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 2019