AIbZIP/CREB3L4 Promotes Cell Proliferation via the SKP2-p27 Axis in Luminal Androgen Receptor Subtype Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Mol Cancer Res. 2024 Apr 2;22(4):373-385. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-23-0629.


Breast cancer ranks first in incidence and fifth in cancer-related deaths among all types of cancer globally. Among breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has few known therapeutic targets and a poor prognosis. Therefore, new therapeutic targets and strategies against TNBC are required. We found that androgen-induced basic leucine zipper (AIbZIP), also known as cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein 3-like protein 4 (CREB3L4), which is encoded by Creb3l4, is highly upregulated in a particular subtype of TNBC, luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype. We analyzed the function of AIbZIP through depletion of AIbZIP by siRNA knockdown in LAR subtype TNBC cell lines, MFM223 and MDAMB453. In AIbZIP-depleted cells, the proliferation ratios of cells were greatly suppressed. Moreover, G1-S transition was inhibited in AIbZIP-depleted cells. We comprehensively analyzed the expression levels of proteins that regulate G1-S transition and found that p27 was specifically upregulated in AIbZIP-depleted cells. Furthermore, we identified that this p27 downregulation was caused by protein degradation modulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system via F-box protein S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2) upregulation. Our findings demonstrate that AIbZIP is a novel p27-SKP2 pathway-regulating factor and a potential molecule that contributes to LAR subtype TNBC progression.

Implications: This research shows a new mechanism for the proliferation of LAR subtype TNBC regulated by AIbZIP, that may provide novel insight into the LAR subtype TNBC progression and the molecular mechanisms involved in cell proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Up-Regulation


  • CREB3L4 protein, human
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Receptors, Androgen