Nuclear factor I-C regulates E-cadherin via control of KLF4 in breast cancer

Abstract

Progression to metastasis is the leading cause of most cancer-related mortality; however, much remains to be understood about what facilitates the spread of tumor cells. In the present study, we describe a novel pathway in breast cancer that regulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), motility, and invasiveness. We examined nuclear factor I-C (NFI-C) expression in MCF10A human breast epithelial cells, MCF7 non-invasive breast cancer cells, and MDA-MB231 invasive breast cancer cells by real-time PCR and western blotting. To investigate the loss- and gain-function of NFI-C, we determined whether NFI-C regulated KLF4 expression by real-time PCR, western blotting, and promoter assay. To understand the biological functions of NFI-C, we observed cell invasion, migration, adhesion in human tumor cells by transwell assay, wound healing assay, quantitative RT-PCR, cell adhesion assay, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. We identified the downstream factors of NFI-C, such as KLF4 and E-cadherin, which play roles in EMT. NFI-C is expressed in normal mammary gland or noninvasive breast cancer cells with epithelial characteristics. NFI-C overexpression induced expression of KLF4 and E-cadherin, but not Slug, in breast cancer cells. NFI-C bound directly to the KLF4 promoter and stimulated KLF4 transcriptional activity, thereby regulating E-cadherin expression during tumorigenesis. Cells overexpressing NFI-C maintained their epithelial differentiation status, which could drive mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) via the NFI-C-KLF4-E-cadherin axis in breast cancer cells. Consequently, NFI-C suppressed EMT, migration, and invasion in breast cancer cells. Our study reveals a novel signaling pathway that is important during breast cancer tumorigenesis: the NFI-C-KLF4-E-cadherin pathway. The results indicate the important role of NFI-C in regulating KLF4 during tumorigenesis.

DOI: 10.1186/s12885-015-1118-z

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Lee2015NuclearFI, title={Nuclear factor I-C regulates E-cadherin via control of KLF4 in breast cancer}, author={Hye-Kyung Lee and Dong-Seol Lee and Joo-Cheol Park}, booktitle={BMC Cancer}, year={2015} }