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Diagn Pathol. 2012 May 18;7:52. doi: 10.1186/1746-1596-7-52.

Survivin regulates the expression of VEGF-C in lymphatic metastasis of breast cancer.

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Department of Breast Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, No, 155 North Nanjing Street, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, 110001, China.



As a known regulator of apoptosis, survivin has positive relationship with lymphatic metastasis in breast cancer. This study aims to detect the difference in expression between survivin and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) in treated breast cancer cells and tissues, and to analyze the correlation among survivin, VEGF-C and lymphatic metastasis.


Plasmid with survivin and VEGF-C shRNA and lentivirus with survivin gene were constructed and transfected into breast cancer cell ZR-75-30. Then the expressions of the two genes were examined using western blot analysis and real-time PCR. The change of invasiveness of breast cancer cells was assessed using matrigel invasion assay. Using immunohistochemistry, the expression of survivin and VEGF-C were analyzed in 108 clinical breast cancer cases with breast cancer tissue and lymph node.


Survivin regulated the expression of VEGF-C at both protein and mRNA levels in breast cancer cells. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the level of VEGF-C expression was significantly related with that of survivin in breast cancer tissues (p<0.05). VEGF-C was found to participate in the process of breast cancer cells invasion mediated by survivin. The co-expression of the two and the single expression of any one took significant difference in positive lymph node (p<0.05).


Survivin takes an important part in regulating the expression of VEGF-C. VEGF-C could influence the invasive ability mediated by survivin. The co-expression of survivin and VEGF-C is more statistically significant to assess lymphatic metastasis in breast cancer.


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