CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ) demonstrates a dichotomous role in tumour initiation and promotion of epithelial carcinoma

Ramlogan Sowamber, Rania Chehade, Mahmoud Bitar, Leah V. Dodds, Anca Milea, Brian Slomovitz, Patricia A. Shaw, Sophia H.L. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (C/EBPδ,CEBPD), a gene part of the highly conserved basic-leucine zipper (b-ZIP) domain of transcriptional factors, is downregulated in 65% of high grade serous carcinomas of the ovary (HGSC). Overexpression of C/EBPδ in different tumours, such as glioblastoma and breast cancer either promotes tumour progression or inhibits growth and has low expression in normal tissue until activated by cytotoxic stressors. Methods: Higher overall expression of C/EBPδ in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle prompted us to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in carcinogenesis. In vitro experiments were conducted in fallopian tube cell samples and cancer cell lines to investigate the role of C/EBPδ in proliferation, migration, and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Findings: Expression of C/EBPδ induced premature cellular arrest and decreased soft agar colony formation. Loss of C/EBPδ in epithelial cancer cell lines did not have significant effects on proliferation, yet overexpression demonstrated downregulation of growth, similar to normal fallopian tube cells. C/EBPδ promoted a partial mesenchymal to epithelial (MET) phenotype by upregulating E-cadherin and downregulating Vimentin and N-cadherin in FTE cells and increased migratory activity, which suggests a regulatory role in the epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity of these cells. Interpretation: Our findings suggest that C/EBPδ regulates the phenotype of normal fallopian tube cells by acting on downstream regulatory factors that are implicated in the development of ovarian serous carcinogenesis. Fund: This study was funded by the CDMRP Ovarian Cancer program (W81WH-0701-0371, W81XWH-18-1-0072), the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Foundation, Foundation for Women's Cancer – The Belinda-Sue/Mary-Jane Walker Fund, Colleen's Dream Foundation and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalEBioMedicine
Volume44
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • C/EBPδ
  • Epithelial to mesenchymal transition
  • Fallopian tube epithelia
  • High-grade serous ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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