Correlation of p27 protein expression with HER-2/neu expression in breast cancer

Authors

  • Lisa Newman,

    1. Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    Current affiliation:
    1. Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center, 110 East Warren, Detroit, MI 48201.
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  • Weiya Xia,

    1. Department of Molecular Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Heng-Yin Yang,

    1. Department of Molecular Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Aysegal Sahin,

    1. Department of Pathology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Melissa Bondy,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Farzana Lukmanji,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Mien-Chie Hung,

    1. Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Molecular Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    3. Breast Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Mong-Hong Lee

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    2. Department of Molecular Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    3. Breast Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Box 108, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030.
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Abstract

Strong expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2)/neu in breast cancer has been associated with poor prognosis. Reduced expression of p27Kip1, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, correlates with poor clinical outcome in breast cancer. In this study, we provide a correlation between these two important prognostic markers in patients with breast cancer. Breast tumor screening using immunohistochemistry indicated that downregulation of p27 correlated with HER-2/neu overexpression in studying 11 normal breast tissues and 51 primary breast carcinomas. We found HER-2/neu protein overexpression in 20 (41%) of 49 breast cancers and low p27 protein expression in 47 (92%) of 51 breast cancers. All 20 (100%) of the tumors that overexpressed HER-2/neu had low levels of p27 protein product; this correlation was statistically significant (P = 0.035). Decreasing p27 expression correlated with increasing HER-2/neu activity. Our results suggest that one function of the HER-2/neu product is to downregulate p27 expression in breast cancer. This study may be significant in selecting patients for HER-2/neu antibody therapy in the future. Mol. Carcinog. 30:169–175, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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