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Oncotarget. 2015 Apr 30;6(12):10487-97.

Rampant centrosome amplification underlies more aggressive disease course of triple negative breast cancers.

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Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA 30342, USA.
Department of Pathology, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
Clinical Pathology & Anatomic Pathology, West Georgia Hospitals, LaGrange, GA 30240, USA.
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


Centrosome amplification (CA), a cell-biological trait, characterizes pre-neoplastic and pre-invasive lesions and is associated with tumor aggressiveness. Recent studies suggest that CA leads to malignant transformation and promotes invasion in mammary epithelial cells. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a histologically-aggressive subtype shows high recurrence, metastases, and mortality rates. Since TNBC and non-TNBC follow variable kinetics of metastatic progression, they constitute a novel test bed to explore if severity and nature of CA can distinguish them apart. We quantitatively assessed structural and numerical centrosomal aberrations for each patient sample in a large-cohort of grade-matched TNBC (n = 30) and non-TNBC (n = 98) cases employing multi-color confocal imaging. Our data establish differences in incidence and severity of CA between TNBC and non-TNBC cell lines and clinical specimens. We found strong correlation between CA and aggressiveness markers associated with metastasis in 20 pairs of grade-matched TNBC and non-TNBC specimens (p < 0.02). Time-lapse imaging of MDA-MB-231 cells harboring amplified centrosomes demonstrated enhanced migratory ability. Our study bridges a vital knowledge gap by pinpointing that CA underlies breast cancer aggressiveness. This previously unrecognized organellar inequality at the centrosome level may allow early-risk prediction and explain higher tumor aggressiveness and mortality rates in TNBC patients.


centrosome amplification; disease prognosis; metastasis; triple negative breast cancer

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