Loss of Limb-Bud-and-Heart (LBH) attenuates mammary hyperplasia and tumor development in MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice

Kilan Ashad-Bishop, Koteswararao Garikapati, Linsey E. Lindley, Merce Jorda, Karoline J. Briegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


WNT/β-catenin signaling plays pivotal roles in mammary development and tumorigenesis; and aberrant activation of this pathway is frequently observed in human breast cancer, correlating with poor outcome. However, the mechanisms underlying WNT-driven mammary tumorigenesis remain incompletely understood. Here, we used mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Wnt1 transgenic mice, which develop aggressive mammary adenocarcinomas, to examine whether Limb-Bud-and-Heart (LBH) - a WNT/β-catenin target transcription co-factor overexpressed in human triple-negative breast cancers with WNT pathway hyperactivation, contributes to WNT-induced tumorigenesis. We found LBH is specifically overexpressed in basal epithelial tumor cells of MMTV-Wnt1 mammary tumors reminiscent of its basal cell-restricted expression in the normal postnatal mammary gland. To determine the role of LBH in mammary tumorigenesis, we crossed MMTV-Wnt1 mice with basal epithelial-specific Keratin 14/K14-Cre;LbhloxP knockout mice. Mammary glands from virgin LBH-deficient MMTV-Wnt1 mice exhibited reduced hyperplasia, cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Importantly, LBH inactivation in mammary epithelium significantly delayed tumor onset in MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice, with a median tumor-free survival of 32.5 weeks compared to 22.5 weeks in control LBH wild type MMTV-Wnt1 mice (p < 0.05). This data provides the first evidence that LBH plays an essential role in WNT-induced mammary tumorigenesis by promoting hyperplastic growth and tumor formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 8 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Limb-Bud-and-Heart
  • Mammary tumorigenesis
  • Mouse model
  • WNT/β-catenin signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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