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Breast Cancer Res. 2003;5(5):R157-69. Epub 2003 Jul 28.

Beta class II tubulin predominates in normal and tumor breast tissues.

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  • 1School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Antimitotic chemotherapeutic agents target tubulin, the major protein in mitotic spindles. Tubulin isotype composition is thought to be both diagnostic of tumor progression and a determinant of the cellular response to chemotherapy. This implies that there is a difference in isotype composition between normal and tumor tissues.

METHODS:

To determine whether such a difference occurs in breast tissues, total tubulin was fractionated from lysates of paired normal and tumor breast tissues, and the amounts of beta-tubulin classes I + IV, II, and III were measured by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only primary tumor tissues, before chemotherapy, were examined. Her2/neu protein amplification occurs in about 30% of breast tumors and is considered a marker for poor prognosis. To gain insight into whether tubulin isotype levels might be correlated with prognosis, ELISAs were used to quantify Her2/neu protein levels in these tissues.

RESULTS:

Beta-tubulin isotype distributions in normal and tumor breast tissues were similar. The most abundant beta-tubulin isotypes in these tissues were beta-tubulin classes II and I + IV. Her2/neu levels in tumor tissues were 5-30-fold those in normal tissues, although there was no correlation between the Her2/neu biomarker and tubulin isotype levels.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that tubulin isotype levels, alone or in combination with Her2/neu protein levels, might not be diagnostic of tumorigenesis in breast cancer. However, the presence of a broad distribution of these tubulin isotypes (for example, 40-75% beta-tubulin class II) in breast tissue, in conjunction with other factors, might still be relevant to disease progression and cellular response to antimitotic drugs.

PMID:
12927047
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC314434
Free PMC Article
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