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Oncogene. 2007 Dec 13;26(57):7859-71. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Molecular signatures of metaplastic carcinoma of the breast by large-scale transcriptional profiling: identification of genes potentially related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast (MCB) is a poorly understood subtype of breast cancer. It is generally characterized by the coexistence of ductal carcinomatous and transdifferentiated sarcomatous components, but the underlying molecular alterations, possibly related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), remain elusive. We performed transcriptional profiling using half-a-genome oligonucleotide microarrays to elucidate genetic profiles of MCBs and their differences to those of ductal carcinoma of breasts (DCBs) using discarded specimens of four MCBs and 34 DCBs. Unsupervised clustering disclosed distinctive expression profiles between MCBs and DCBs. Supervised analysis identified gene signatures discriminating MCBs from DCBs and between MCB subclasses. Notably, many of the discriminator genes were associated with downregulation of epithelial phenotypes and with synthesis, remodeling and adhesion of extracellular matrix, with some of them have known or inferred roles related to EMT. Importantly, several of the discriminator genes were upregulated in a mutant Snail-transfected MCF7 cell known to exhibit features of EMT, thereby indicating a crucial role for EMT in the pathogenesis of MCBs. Finally, the identification of SPARC and vimentin as poor prognostic factors reinforced the role of EMT in cancer progression. These data advance our understanding of MCB and offer clues to the molecular alterations underlying EMT.

PMID:
17603561
DOI:
10.1038/sj.onc.1210593
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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