NFAT3 transcription factor inhibits breast cancer cell motility by targeting the Lipocalin 2 gene

Oncogene. 2010 Apr 15;29(15):2292-301. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.499. Epub 2010 Jan 25.


NFAT1 and NFAT5 act as pro-invasive and pro-migratory transcription factors in breast carcinoma, contributing to the formation of metastases. We report that NFAT3 is specifically expressed in estrogen receptor alpha positive (ERA+) breast cancer cells. We show that NFAT3 inhibits by itself the invasion capacity of ERA+ breast cancer cells and needs to cooperate with ERA to inhibit their migration. Conversely, NFAT3 downregulation results in actin reorganization associated with increased migration and invasion capabilities. NFAT3 signaling reduces migration through inhibition of Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) gene expression. Collectively, our study unravels an earlier unknown NFAT3/LCN2 axis that critically controls motility in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / deficiency
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins / genetics*
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / genetics
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / deficiency
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*


  • Actins
  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • LCN2 protein, human
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins