CD99/MIC-2 surface protein expression in breast carcinomas


Professor Fernando C Schmitt Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto (IPATIMUP), Rua Dr Roberto Frias, s/n 4200 Porto, Portugal. e-mail:


CD99/MIC-2 surface protein expression in breast carcinomas

Aim: To evaluate the expression of CD99/MIC-2 surface protein in invasive breast carcinomas and demonstrate whether or not there is a relationship with tumour phenotype.

Methods and results: Thirty-five invasive breast carcinomas, including five metaplastic carcinomas, were stained with CD99 primary antibodies using standard protocols based on streptavidin–biotin–peroxidase method. Four out of five metaplastic carcinomas expressed CD99/MIC-2 protein, three of them were matrix-producing carcinomas. From the other 30 cases, only an invasive apocrine carcinoma was positive. There was no statistical correlation between CD99 expression and the parameters analysed (histological typing and grading, proliferative index and nodal status).

Conclusions: CD99/MIC-2 is expressed in breast carcinomas, especially in the matrix-producing variant of metaplastic carcinomas, which impairs its use as a marker to differentiate metaplastic carcinomas from primary and metastatic sarcomas of the breast. It seems to have no prognostic implications. However, phenotype similarities with other chondromyxoid tumours that also express the protein, like mesenchymal chondrosarcomas, suggest a relationship between MIC-2 reactivity and morphological differentiation.