Expression of BRCA1 protein in breast cancer and its prognostic significance.

Department of Histopathology, The Breast Unit, Nottingham City Hospital, University of Nottingham, NG5 1PB Nottingham, UK.
Human pathology (Impact Factor: 2.81). 07/2008; 39(6):857-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.10.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BRCA1 is a tumor suppressor gene which, when mutated, is associated with the development of hereditary breast cancers. In sporadic tumors, although inherent gene mutations are rare, loss of BRCA1, resulting from reduced expression or incorrect subcellular localization, is postulated to be important. The purpose of the current study was to examine the expression and localization of BRCA1 protein and to assess its prognostic value, in a well-characterized series of unselected breast carcinomas. We have examined BRCA1 in a series of invasive breast carcinoma (1940 cases) using tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry, to evaluate its expression pattern and to correlate this with clinicopathologic variables and patient outcome. In breast cancer, complete loss of nuclear expression was observed in 223 cases (15%) and cytoplasmic expression was found in 541 breast cancers (36.6%). Absent or reduced nuclear BRCA1 expression was observed more frequently in ductal carcinoma of no special type and medullary-like carcinoma and less frequently in lobular and tubular mixed carcinomas. It was also associated with high-grade, advanced lymph node stage, larger size, vascular invasion, negative estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and androgen receptor expression, and positive p53 and P-cadherin expression, and with the basal-like class of breast cancer. Altered BRCA1 was associated with shorter disease-free interval. Cytoplasmic expression was also associated with development of recurrence and positive EGFR and HER2 expression. It showed an inverse association with survival particularly in low-grade, small-size, and estrogen receptor-positive subgroups. In the grade 1 subgroup, multivariate analysis with adjustment for other prognostic factors showed that cytoplasmic expression of BRCA1 was an independent predictor of disease-free interval. BRCA1 alteration may play a significant role in the development and progression of breast cancer. Immunohistochemical assessment of BRCA1 expression could provide additional clinically relevant information in routine classification of breast cancer.

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    ABSTRACT: Increased Raf-1 expression has been associated with an aggressive behaviour in some carcinomas such as pulmonary carcinoma and renal carcinoma. However, its role in breast cancer, especially in basal-like carcinoma of the breast (BLBC), has not been defined. The current study attempted to investigate the expression pattern of Raf-1 protein in BLBC, in relation to the biological behaviour and prognosis of the carcinoma. Expression of Raf-1 was detected by immunohistochemistry in carcinoma specimens from 74 cases of BLBC, and associations between their expression and the clinicopathological characteristics were statistically assessed. The patients' age, tumour size, BRCA1, and p53 protein expression was not significantly different between the Raf-1-positive and Raf-1-negative expression groups (p > 0.05). The proportion of histological grade 3 tumours was not significantly higher in the Raf-1 positive group than that of grade 2 tumours (p > 0.05). However, positive cytoplasmic Raf-1 expression was positively correlated to Ki-67 expression (p < 0.05). Also, increased Raf-1 protein was found to exert an unfavourable impact on patients' axillary lymph node metastasis and overall survival (p < 0.05). The study implies that positive Raf-1 expression in BLBC is associated with a more aggressive phenotype and could be considered as a new prognostic biomarker for poor survival in BLBC patients.
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    ABSTRACT: Both BRCA1 and Beclin 1 (BECN1) are tumor suppressor genes, which are in close proximity on the human chromosome 17q21 breast cancer tumor susceptibility locus and are often concurrently deleted. However, their importance in sporadic human breast cancer is not known. To interrogate the effects of BECN1 and BRCA1 in breast cancer, we studied their mRNA expression patterns in breast cancer patients from two large datasets: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) (n = 1067) and the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (METABRIC) (n = 1992). In both datasets, low expression of BECN1 was more common in HER2-enriched and basal-like (mostly triple-negative) breast cancers compared to luminal A/B intrinsic tumor subtypes, and was also strongly associated with TP53 mutations and advanced tumor grade. In contrast, there was no significant association between low BRCA1 expression and HER2-enriched or basal-like subtypes, TP53 mutations or tumor grade. In addition, low expression of BECN1 (but not low BRCA1) was associated with poor prognosis, and BECN1 (but not BRCA1) expression was an independent predictor of survival. These findings suggest that decreased mRNA expression of the autophagy gene BECN1 may contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of HER2-enriched, basal-like, and TP53 mutant breast cancers.
    01/2015; 59(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.01.008
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