Cold-Inducible RNA Binding Protein Impedes Breast Tumor Growth in the PyMT Murine Model for Breast Cancer

Daniel A. Lujan, Joey L. Ochoa, Ellen J. Beswick, Tamara A. Howard, Helen J. Hathaway, Nora I. Perrone-Bizzozero, Rebecca S. Hartley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RNA binding proteins (RBPs) post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression by associating with regulatory sequences in the untranslated regions of mRNAs. Cold-inducible RBP (CIRP) is a stress-induced RBP that was recently shown to modulate inflammation in response to cellular stress, where it increases or decreases pro-tumorigenic (proinflammatory) cytokines in different contexts. CIRP expression is altered in several cancers, including breast cancer, but the effects of CIRP on inflammation in breast cancer is not known. Here, we investigate if CIRP alters growth and the inflammatory profile of breast tumors. Transgenic mice overexpressing CIRP in the mammary epithelium were crossed with the PyMT mouse model of breast cancer, and the effects on both early and late tumorigenesis and inflammation were assessed. The effects of CIRP knockdown were also assessed in Py2T cell grafts. Overexpression of CIRP led to decreased tumorigenesis in the PyMT mouse model. Conversely, the knockdown of CIRP in Py2T cell grafts led to increased tumor growth. Luminex cytokine assays assessed the effects on the inflammatory environment. CIRP/PyMT mammary glands/mammary tumors and serum had decreased cytokines that promote inflammation, angiogenesis, and metastasis compared to PyMT mammary glands and serum, documenting a shift towards an environment less supportive of tumorigenesis. CIRP overexpression also decreased CD4+ helper T cells and increased CD8+ cytotoxic T cells in mammary tumors. Overall, these data support a role for CIRP as a potent antitumor molecule that suppresses both local and systemic pro-tumorigenic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number340
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • CIRP
  • Py2T
  • PyMT
  • breast cancer
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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