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J Cell Sci. 2012 Oct 1;125(Pt 19):4475-86. doi: 10.1242/jcs.099879. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Lipocalin 2, the TNF-like receptor TWEAKR and its ligand TWEAK act downstream of NFAT1 to regulate breast cancer cell invasion.

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CNRS UMR7212, INSERM U944, Université Paris Diderot, Institut d'Hématologie, Hôpital Saint-Louis, 1 avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75475 Paris Cedex 10, France.


NFAT1 is a transcription factor that elicits breast carcinoma cells to become invasive, thus contributing to metastasis. The molecular mechanisms by which NFAT1 operates in this respect are still poorly known. Here, we report that NFAT1 increases lipocalin 2 (LCN2) mRNA and protein expression by binding to specific sites in the LCN2 gene promoter region. We show that the LCN2 protein is required downstream of NFAT1 to increase breast cancer cell invasion. We demonstrate that the NFAT1-LCN2 axis is sufficient to regulate expression of the TNF-like receptor TWEAKR at the RNA level and of its ligand, TWEAK, at the protein level. We show, however, that TWEAKR mediates an anti-invasive effect in breast cancer cells whereas, depending on LCN2 expression, TWEAK has either anti- or pro-invasive capacities. Thus, we identify LCN2 and TWEAKR-TWEAK as crucial downstream effectors of NFAT1 that regulate breast cancer cell motility and invasive capacity.

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