Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 1999 Jun;5(6):1249-61.

Reduction of BRCA1 protein expression in Japanese sporadic breast carcinomas and its frequent loss in BRCA1-associated cases.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology and Tumor Biology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


BRCA1 is a tumor suppressor gene that is responsible for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. To clarify the possible involvement of the BRCA1 protein in mammary carcinogenesis in sporadic and hereditary forms, we have analyzed the BRCA1 protein expression pattern in five breast epithelial cell lines, including a BRCA1-deficient cell line, and 162 breast cancer tissue samples [including 108 sporadic, 35 hereditary (BRCA1 status unknown), and 19 BRCA1-associated cases] from Japanese women. Twelve anti-BRCA1 antibodies were tested by fixation conditions, in which nuclear localization of BRCA1 protein was preserved, and by specificity of the antibodies, which was evaluated in BRCA1-deficient cancer cells. Using monoclonal antibodies applicable to immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue sections, we found high-level expression of BRCA1 protein in normal mammary epithelium and various degrees of reduced expression in breast cancer cells. Of the 19 BRCA1-associated breast cancer tissues, 15 (79%) showed reduction (8 cases) or complete loss (7 cases) of nuclear expression. Thirty (28%) of 108 sporadic and 6 (17%) of 35 hereditary carcinomas showed reduced BRCA1 protein expression. Reduction of BRCA1 protein expression in sporadic carcinomas was associated with solid-tubular phenotype, with poor tubular differentiation, and with an overexpression of c-erbB-2 protein, which is one of the prognostic factors in breast cancer. Our data suggest that reduced expression of BRCA1 protein may play an important role in mammary carcinogenesis, not only in BRCA1-associated breast carcinomas, but also in sporadic carcinomas, and also suggest that mechanisms other than mutation may be involved in its reduced expression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk