Antibodies targeting p63 react specifically in the cytoplasm of breast epithelial cells exhibiting secretory differentiation. Histopathology

Department of Gynecologic and Breast Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC 20306, USA.
Histopathology (Impact Factor: 3.45). 01/2006; 47(6):611-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2005.02282.x
Source: PubMed


The nuclear detection of p63 in myoepithelial cells of the breast has been useful in identifying possibly invasive carcinomas. While examining myoepithelial cells for p63 a very strong cytoplasmic reaction product was noted in secretory cells. The aim was to determine whether this reaction is specific for p63 and indicative of all breast secretory cells.
Thirty breast specimens were tested immunohistochemically for p63 protein. These included seven with benign secretory changes, 10 secretory carcinomas (nine invasive), one microglandular adenosis, three lobular neoplasias, four invasive ductal carcinomas, three clear cell carcinomas, one squamous cell carcinoma and one mucinous carcinoma.
Only cells exhibiting secretory changes or secretory carcinoma were cytoplasmically reactive for p63. The positive reaction was also present as an intraluminal secretory product. This reaction was not seen in cells undergoing apocrine differentiation or in other cells containing secretory vacuoles.
Cells with secretory changes contain p63 protein or an antigenic equivalent. The detection of p63 protein continues to have considerable value for the identification of myoepithelial cells and thus the determination of invasion, but will also have value in the determination of secretory carcinomas of the breast and in understanding their development.

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    • "(2) Formation of protein-protein complexes. A previous study from our lab showed that only cells exhibiting secretory changes or secretory carcinomas had cytoplasmic p63 expression 48. Thus, it is possible that secretory products in PABC may form protein-protein complexes with p63, which prevent the import of p63 protein into the nuclei. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies revealed that pregnancy associated breast cancer (PABC) had significantly reduced nuclear p63 expression in myoepithelia, while intense cytoplasmic p63 expression in associated epithelia. Our current study assessed these epithelia using immunohistochemistry with a panel of aggressiveness and invasiveness related markers and comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) with over 30,000 DNA probes. These epithelia showed several unique alterations, including (1) immunohistochemical and morphological resemblance to invasive cancer, (2) significant gain in copy numbers of DNA coding genes for morphogenesis, angiogenesis, and metastasis, and (3) significant loss in copy numbers of DNA coding genes for tumor suppressors, cell adhesion, and macromolecular complex assembly or intra-cellular trafficking. Detected array-CGH alterations correlated well with in vivo expression of a number of corresponding proteins tested. These findings suggest that aberrant sub-cellular localization of p63 expression in normal or hyperplastic appearing epithelial cells may significant contribute to increased invasiveness and aggressiveness of these cells.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · International journal of biological sciences
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    • "A number of factors, including alterations of the elements and molecules involved in p63 nucleo-cytoplasmic transportation could significantly impact the p63 cellular trafficking, and consequently alter its sub-cellular localization 34-35. A previous study from our lab showed that only cells exhibiting secretory changes or secretory carcinomas had cytoplasmic p63 expression 36. It is possible that the secretory products in PABC may form protein-protein complexes with p63, which prevent the import of p63 protein into the nuclei. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our recent studies revealed that focal alterations in breast myoepithelial cell layers significantly impact the biological presentation of associated epithelial cells. As pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) has a significantly more aggressive clinical course and mortality rate than other forms of breast malignancies, our current study compared tumor suppressor expression in myoepithelial cells of PABC and non-PABC, to determine whether myoepithelial cells of PABC may have aberrant expression of tumor suppressors. Tissue sections from 20 cases of PABC and 20 cases of stage, grade, and age matched non-PABC were subjected to immunohistochemistry, and the expression of tumor suppressor maspin, p63, and Wilms' tumor 1 (WT-1) in calponin positive myoepithelial cells were statistically compared. The expression profiles of maspin, p63, and WT-1 in myoepithelial cells of all ducts encountered were similar between PABC and non-PABC. PABC, however, displayed several unique alterations in terminal duct and lobular units (TDLU), acini, and associated tumor tissues that were not seen in those of non-PABC, which included the absence of p63 and WT-1 expression in a vast majority of the myoepithelial cells, cytoplasmic localization of p63 in the entire epithelial cell population of some lobules, and substantially increasing WT-1 expression in vascular structures of the invasive cancer component. All or nearly all epithelial cells with aberrant p63 and WT-1 expression lacked the expression of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, whereas they had a substantially higher proliferation index than their counterparts with p63 and WT-1 expression. Hyperplastic cells with cytoplasmic p63 expression often adjacent to, and share a similar immunohistochemical and cytological profile with, invasive cancer cells. To our best knowledge, our main finings have not been previously reported. Our findings suggest that the functional status of myoepithelial cells may be significantly associated with tumor aggressiveness and invasiveness.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · International journal of biological sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the breast is a distinct variant of breast cancer. In the present study, we analyzed potential immunophenotypic changes in invasive micropapillary carcinoma. Specimens from 15 patients with invasive micropapillary carcinoma were analyzed using clinicopathological and immunohistochemical methods. We also examined the relationship between clinicopathological factors using the Ki-67 labeling index. Immunohistochemical staining for cytoplasmic p63 expression was seen in four (27%) tumors, and p63 nuclear expression was also observed in four (27%) tumors. Involucrin and 34betaE12 were expressed in the invasive micropapillary carcinoma component of nine (60%) and four (27%) tumors, respectively. Cytokeratin 5/6 was expressed in three (20%) tumors and cytokeratin 14 staining was negative in all tumors. In one tumor (case 3), vimentin, epithelial membrane antigen and cytokeratin 8/18 were co-expressed. Four tumors (27%) were negative for the estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor/HER2. However, 11 out of 15 (73%) tumors were positive for the estrogen receptor. The Ki-67 labeling index was significantly higher in cases with p63 tumor expression than in those without (P < 0.0001), and also higher in cases with lymph node metastasis than in cases without (P = 0.0029). Nuclear expression of p63, involucrin and 34betaE12 were detected indicating squamous differentiation. Cytoplasmic p63 expression was also identified. The fact that the Ki-67 labeling index was significantly higher in such cases may have been associated with the aggressive behavior of these tumors. Our findings suggest that the characteristic morphology of invasive micropapillary carcinomas may be due to immunophenotypical and oncogenic changes.
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