Deregulation of the endogenous C/EBPβ LIP isoform predisposes to tumorigenesis


  • V. Bégay
  • J.J. Smink
  • C. Loddenkemper
  • K. Zimmermann
  • C. Rudolph
  • M. Scheller
  • D. Steinemann
  • U. Leser
  • B. Schlegelberger
  • H. Stein
  • A. Leutz


  • Journal of Molecular Medicine


  • J Mol Med 93 (1): 39-49


  • Two long and one truncated isoforms (termed LAP*, LAP, and LIP, respectively) of the transcription factor CCAAT enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) are expressed from a single intronless Cebpb gene by alternative translation initiation. Isoform expression is sensitive to mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-mediated activation of the translation initiation machinery and relayed through an upstream open reading frame (uORF) on the C/EBPbeta mRNA. The truncated C/EBPbeta LIP, initiated by high mTOR activity, has been implied in neoplasia, but it was never shown whether endogenous C/EBPbeta LIP may function as an oncogene. In this study, we examined spontaneous tumor formation in C/EBPbeta knockin mice that constitutively express only the C/EBPbeta LIP isoform from its own locus. Our data show that deregulated C/EBPbeta LIP predisposes to oncogenesis in many tissues. Gene expression profiling suggests that C/EBPbeta LIP supports a pro-tumorigenic microenvironment, resistance to apoptosis, and alteration of cytokine/chemokine expression. The results imply that enhanced translation reinitiation of C/EBPbeta LIP promotes tumorigenesis. Accordingly, pharmacological restriction of mTOR function might be a therapeutic option in tumorigenesis that involves enhanced expression of the truncated C/EBPbeta LIP isoform. KEY MESSAGE: Elevated C/EBPbeta LIP promotes cancer in mice. C/EBPbeta LIP is upregulated in B-NHL. Deregulated C/EBPbeta LIP alters apoptosis and cytokine/chemokine networks. Deregulated C/EBPbeta LIP may support a pro-tumorigenic microenvironment.