Cells expressing the C/EBPbeta isoform, LIP, engulf their neighbors.

Abreu M, Sealy L
PLoS One. 2012 7 (7): e41807

PMID: 22860016 · PMCID: PMC3409234 · DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0041807

Descriptions of various processes that lead to cell-in-cell structures have been reported for decades. The exact molecular mechanism(s) of their formation and the physiological significance of cell-in-cell structures remain poorly understood. We had previously shown that an isoform of the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) transcription factor, liver-enriched inhibitory protein (LIP), induces cell death in human breast cancer cells and stimulates autophagy. Here we describe a non-apoptotic cell death process where LIP mediates the engulfment of neighboring cells. We provide evidence of LIP-mediated engulfment via DNA profiling, fluorescent imaging and cell sorting studies, as well as ultrastructure analysis of LIP-expressing MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells. Our work illustrates that expression of a specific transcription factor, LIP, can mediate cell engulfment.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adenoviridae Apoptosis CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-beta Cell Line, Tumor Cytophagocytosis DNA Gene Expression Genetic Vectors Humans Microscopy, Confocal Protein Isoforms rho GTP-Binding Proteins

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