Research Papers:

IMP1, an mRNA binding protein that reduces the metastatic potential of breast cancer in a mouse model

Chiso U. Nwokafor, Rani S. Sellers and Robert H. Singer _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:72662-72671. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12083

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Chiso U. Nwokafor1, Rani S. Sellers2 and Robert H. Singer1

1 Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

2 Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

Correspondence to:

Robert H. Singer, email:

Keywords: cancer, breast cancer, metastasis, RNA binding protein, IMP1

Received: January 14, 2016 Accepted: September 02, 2016 Published: September 16, 2016


Cells that are able to localize β-actin mRNA efficiently have decreased metastatic potential. Invasive carcinoma cells derived from primary mammary tumors have reduced levels of an RNA binding protein IMP1/ZBP1/IGF2BP1, required for β-actin mRNA localization. We showed previously that in human breast carcinoma cells in vitro, this protein suppresses invasion. In this work we examined whether its re-expression can suppress breast cancer metastasis in a breast cancer mouse model. We developed a mouse conditionally expressing IMP1-GFP (hereinafter referred to as the IMP1 transgene) specifically in the mammary gland of a PYMT breast cancer mouse. We found that mice conditionally expressing the IMP1 transgene showed little or no metastases to the lungs from the primary tumor in contrast to PYMT mice not expressing IMP1, which uniformly develop metastases at an early stage.

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