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J Histochem Cytochem. 2011 Jun;59(6):615-29. doi: 10.1369/0022155411405057. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 are independent indicators in breast carcinoma.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Syndecan proteoglycans may be key regulators of tumor invasion and metastasis because this four-member family of transmembrane receptors regulates cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. Their expression can also serve as prognostic markers. In breast carcinomas, syndecan-1 overexpression correlates with poor prognosis and aggressive phenotype. Syndecan-4 is expressed in most breast carcinoma cell lines, but its role in malignancy is unclear. A possible relationship between syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 expression and established prognostic factors in breast carcinomas was examined. Duplicate samples of 114 benign and malignant breast disease cases were stained for the two syndecans. Clinicopathological information was available for all cases. Syndecan-1 was detected in 72.8% of cases, with significant association between its expression and histological tumor type (p<0.05) and high grade tumors (p<0.05). Syndecan-4 was expressed in 66.7% of cases; expression correlated significantly with positive estrogen (p<0.01) and progesterone (p<0.01) receptor status. Independent expression of the two syndecans was noted from an analysis of single and double positive cases. There was a statistical relationship between syndecan-1 presence in high-grade tumors and absence of syndecan-4, whereas syndecan-4 presence in cases positive for estrogen and progesterone receptor associated with syndecan-1 absence. These syndecans may, therefore, have distinct roles in regulating breast carcinoma cell behavior.

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