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Deficiency of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein family DNA binding prevents malignant conversion of adenoma to carcinoma in NNK-induced lung carcinogenesis in the mouse

Shioko Kimura1*, Jorge Paiz1, Mitsuhiro Yoneda1, Taketomo Kido1, Charles Vinson1 and Jerrold M Ward2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Metabolism, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA

2 Global VetPathology, Montgomery Village, Maryland, 20866, USA

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Molecular Cancer 2012, 11:90  doi:10.1186/1476-4598-11-90

Published: 12 December 2012



The CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) play important roles in carcinogenesis of many tumors including the lung. Since multiple C/EBPs are expressed in lung, the combinatorial expression of these C/EBPs on lung carcinogenesis is not known.


A transgenic mouse line expressing a dominant negative A-C/EBP under the promoter of lung epithelial Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) gene in doxycycline dependent fashion was subjected to 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced lung carcinogenesis bioassay in the presence and absence of doxycycline, and the effect of abolition of DNA binding activities of C/EBPs on lung carcinogenesis was examined.


A-C/EBP expression was found not to interfere with tumor development; however, it suppressed the malignant conversion of adenoma to carcinoma during NNK-induced lung carcinogenesis. The results suggested that Ki67 may be used as a marker for lung carcinomas in mouse.


The DNA binding of C/EBP family members can be used as a potential molecular target for lung cancer therapy.

C/EBPs; Lung chemical carcinogenesis bioassay; Dominant negative; A-C/EBP; Transgenic mouse; 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone; NNK