Mammary epithelial cell polarity is regulated differentially by p73 isoforms via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

Yanhong Zhang, Wensheng Yan, Yong Sam Jung, Xinbin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


p73 is expressed as TA and ΔN isoforms, both of which are implicated in tumor suppression and/or promotion. To address how p73 possesses these opposing functions, we developed three-dimensional culture of MCF10A cells, which undergo cell morphogenesis to form polarized spheroids with hollow lumen similar to normal mammary acini in vivo. Here, we showed that upon knockdown of p73, particularly TAp73 but not ΔNp73, MCF10A cells formed irregular and near-normal acini without hollow lumen in three-dimensional culture. We also found that upon knockdown of p73 or TAp73, but not ΔNp73, MCF10A cells underwent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via down-regulation of E-cadherin coupled with up-regulation of β-catenin and laminin V. In addition, we found that Snail-1, Slug, and Twist, all of which are known to act as EMT inducers by repressing E-cadherin expression, were increased markedly upon knockdown of p73 and TAp73 but little if any by ΔNp73. Furthermore, we showed that knockdown of p73 or TAp73 in MCF10A cells led to a marked increase in cell proliferation and migration. Together, our data suggest that TAp73 is necessary for maintaining normal cell polarity by suppressing EMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17746-17753
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 18 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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