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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Jun 1;14(11):3319-26. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-4054.

Astrocyte elevated gene-1 is a novel prognostic marker for breast cancer progression and overall patient survival.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control (Sun Yat-sen University), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.



The present study was aimed at clarifying the expression of astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1), one of the target genes of oncogenic Ha-ras, in breast cancer and its correlation with clinicopathologic features, including the survival of patients with breast cancer.


The expression of AEG-1 in normal breast epithelial cells, breast cancer cell lines, and in four cases of paired primary breast tumor and normal breast tissue was examined using reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR was applied to determine the mRNA level of AEG-1 in the four paired tissues, each from the same subject. Furthermore, AEG-1 protein expression was analyzed in 225 clinicopathologically characterized breast cancer cases using immunohistochemistry. Statistical analyses were applied to test for the prognostic and diagnostic associations.


Western blot and reverse transcription-PCR showed that the expression level of AEG-1 was markedly higher in breast cancer cell lines than that in the normal breast epithelial cells at both mRNA and protein levels. AEG-1 expression levels were significantly up-regulated by up to 35-fold in primary breast tumors in comparison to the paired normal breast tissue from the same patient. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed high expression of AEG-1 in 100 of 225 (44.4%) paraffin-embedded archival breast cancer biopsies. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation of AEG-1 expression with the clinical staging of the patients with breast cancer (P = 0.001), as well as with the tumor classification (P = 0.004), node classification (P = 0.026), and metastasis classification (P = 0.001). Patients with higher AEG-1 expression had shorter overall survival time, whereas patients with lower AEG-1 expression had better survival. Multivariate analysis suggested that AEG-1 expression might be an independent prognostic indicator for the survival of patients with breast cancer.


Our results suggest that AEG-1 protein is a valuable marker of breast cancer progression. High AEG-1 expression is associated with poor overall survival in patients with breast cancer.

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