C/EBPβ isoform-specific regulation of migration and invasion in triple-negative breast cancer cells

Britt A Sterken, Tobias Ackermann, Christine Müller, Hidde R Zuidhof, Gertrud Kortman, Alejandra Hernandez-Segura, Mathilde Broekhuis, Diana Spierings, Victor Guryev, Cornelis F Calkhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


The transcription factor C/EBPβ is a master regulator of mammary gland development and tissue remodelling during lactation. The CEBPB-mRNA is translated into three distinct protein isoforms named C/EBPβ-LAP1, -LAP2 and -LIP that are functionally different. The smaller isoform LIP lacks the N-terminal transactivation domains and is considered to act as an inhibitor of the transactivating LAP1/2 isoforms by competitive binding for the same DNA recognition sequences. Aberrantly high expression of LIP is associated with mammary epithelial proliferation and is found in grade III, estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptor-negative human breast cancer. Here, we show that reverting the high LIP/LAP ratios in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines into low LIP/LAP ratios by overexpression of LAP reduces migration and matrix invasion of these TNBC cells. In addition, in untransformed MCF10A human mammary epithelial cells overexpression of LIP stimulates migration. Knockout of CEBPB in TNBC cells where LIP expression prevails, resulted in strongly reduced migration that was accompanied by a downregulation of genes involved in cell migration, extracellular matrix production and cytoskeletal remodelling, many of which are epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) marker genes. Together, this study suggests that the LIP/LAP ratio is involved in regulating breast cancer cell migration and invasion. This study together with studies from others shows that understanding the functions the C/EBPβ-isoforms in breast cancer development may reveal new avenues of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages13
JournalNPJ Breast Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022


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