The CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) is a transcription factor that regulates cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and tumorigenesis. Although the pro-oncogenic roles of C/EBPβ have been implicated in various human cancers, how it contributes to tumorigenesis or tumor progression has not been determined. Immunohistochemistry with human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues revealed that higher levels of C/EBPβ protein were expressed compared to normal lung tissues. Knockdown of C/EBPβ by siRNA reduced the proliferative capacity of NSCLC cells by delaying the G2
/M transition in the cell cycle. In C/EBPβ-knockdown cells, a prolonged increase in phosphorylation of cyclin dependent kinase 1 at tyrosine 15 (Y15-pCDK1) was displayed with simultaneously increased Wee1 and decreased Cdc25B expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis showed that C/EBPβ bound to distal promoter regions of WEE1
and repressed WEE1
transcription through its interaction with histone deacetylase 2. Treatment of C/EBPβ-knockdown cells with a Wee1 inhibitor induced a decrease in Y15-pCDK1 and recovered cells from G2
/M arrest. In the xenograft tumors, the depletion of C/EBPβ significantly reduced tumor growth. Taken together, these results indicate that Wee1 is a novel transcription target of C/EBPβ that is required for the G2
/M phase of cell cycle progression, ultimately regulating proliferation of NSCLC cells.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited