- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is a study aimed to examine the distribution pattern of a specific minichromosome maintenance protein 2 (MCM2) in benign and malignant breast tissue. We also aim to correlate the frequency of expression of MCM2 with the degree of tumor differentiation. We used immunohistochemistry to examine the distribution and expression pattern of MCM2 on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections of benign (n = 30) and malignant breast tissue (n = 70) (IDC 56, DCIS 4, ILC 2, nonductal 4, mixed type 4). We quantified MCM2 expression by calculating a labeling index, which represents the percentage of epithelial nuclei that stained positively. Immunoreactivity was heterogenous in all the 70 malignant cases examined. Epithelial cells in cycle are most frequent at the tumor periphery. Labeling index of MCM2 was greatest in grade 3 (poorly differentiated) and lowest in grade 1 tumors (well differentiated). Minichromosome maintenance protein 2 expression in breast cancer showed a positive association with histologic grade (P < .05). In all the benign breast tissue examined, no proliferating compartments could be characterized. Minichromosome maintenance protein 2 is a useful proliferative marker of breast carcinoma. The frequency of expression of MCM2 showed an inverse correlation with the degree of tumor differentiation.