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Genes Cancer. 2010 Feb;1(2):115-24. doi: 10.1177/1947601909360812.

Association of nuclear localization of a long interspersed nuclear element-1 protein in breast tumors with poor prognostic outcomes.

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  • 1The Verto Institute, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Within healthy human somatic cells, retrotransposition by long interspersed nuclear element-1 (also known as LINE-1 or L1) is thought to be held in check by a variety of mechanisms, including DNA methylation and RNAi. The expression of L1-ORF1 protein, which is rarely found in normal tissue, was assayed using antibodies with a variety of clinical cancer specimens and cancer cell lines. L1-ORF1p expression was detected in nearly all breast tumors that the authors examined, and the protein was also present in a high percentage of ileal carcinoids, bladder, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, as well as in a smaller percentage of prostate and colorectal tumors. Tumors generally demonstrated cytoplasmic L1-ORF1p; however, in several breast cancers, L1-ORF1p was nuclear. Patients with breast tumors displaying nuclear L1-ORF1p had a greater incidence of both local recurrence and distal metastases and also showed poorer overall survival when compared with patients with tumors displaying cytoplasmic L1-ORF1p. These data suggest that expression of L1-ORF1p is widespread in many cancers and that redistribution from cytoplasm to nucleus could be a poor prognostic indicator during breast cancer. High expression and nuclear localization of L1-ORF1p may result in a higher rate of L1 retrotransposition, which could increase genomic instability.


breast cancers; line expression; line movement

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