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Virchows Arch. 2007 Nov;451(5):877-81. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

KPNA2 protein expression in invasive breast carcinoma and matched peritumoral ductal carcinoma in situ.

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Institute of Pathology, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10098 Berlin, Germany.


The aim of this study was to evaluate protein expression of Karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2) in invasive breast cancer and matched ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and to correlate it with clinicopathological data, including patient survival. KPNA2 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in breast tissue samples, containing invasive carcinomas, DCIS, and adjacent histologically benign breast tissues. A polyclonal goat KPNA2 antibody was used for immunostaining of 83 clinicopathologically characterized cases. For statistical analysis, staining of at least 10% of nuclei was considered KPNA2 positive. Immunohistochemical detection of KPNA2 in invasive carcinoma showed a significant correlation with higher tumor stage, positive lymph node status, higher tumor grade, and negative ER status. Concordantly, KPNA2-positive tumors (31.3%) showed significantly shorter disease-free survival times (69 months vs 118 months; p = 0.007). KPNA2 protein expression was also detected in DCIS (21.3%) adjacent to invasive tumor and correlated with nuclear grade (p = 0.013). Expression of KPNA2 in invasive breast cancer correlates with conventional prognostic parameters and shorter disease-free survival. Additionally, KPNA2 is overexpressed in DCIS, particularly high grade lesions, which emphasizes its potential role in carcinogenesis of invasive breast carcinomas.

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