Overexpression of the novel human gene, UBE2Q2, in breast cancer.
ABSTRACT The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway facilitates the degradation of damaged proteins and regulates growth and stress response. This pathway is activated in various cancers, including breast cancer. We have previously reported that the novel human gene, UBE2Q2, is a putative ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that is located on chromosome 15 and is overexpressed in tumor mass and invasive epithelium in head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma. Here, real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to investigate the expression levels of UBE2Q2 gene in a collection of 21 breast cancer tissues matched with normal adjacent counterparts. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot testing were also performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections by using a rabbit polyclonal antibody that we generated against an amino acid sequence predicted from the DNA sequence of UBE2Q2 gene. In the 21 cases investigated, a high increase in the expression of UBE2Q2 mRNA was found in 8 breast cancers (38.1%), a moderately increased UBE2Q2 expression was observed in 7 cases (33.3%), and no significant changes were detected in 6 cases (28.6%) of tumor samples when compared with corresponding normal tissues. Consistently, a higher level of immunoreactivity for UBE2Q2 protein was detected in invasive epithelium of cancerous tissues when compared with that in the normal epithelium. Our data suggest that the novel human gene UBE2Q2 may have implications for pathogenesis of breast cancer and could be used in molecular diagnosis purposes in the future.