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J Pathol. 1993 Mar;169(3):347-53.

Expression of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes in breast cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University of Aberdeen, U.K.


We have studied the expression of different xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes in primary operable breast cancer of no special type. The expression of two forms of cytochrome P450, microsomal epoxide hydrolase, and three classes of glutathione S-transferase was investigated using immunohistochemistry. The tumours were characterized by consistent expression of microsomal epoxide hydrolase and by variable expression of the two forms of cytochrome P450 and the three types of glutathione S-transferase. Cytochrome P450 1A and cytochrome P450 3A were identified in 39 and 22 per cent of tumours, respectively. In each case, immunostaining was present only in areas of invasive carcinoma. Epoxide hydrolase was identified in 89 per cent of tumours and glutathione S-transferases pi, mu, and alpha were identified in 56, 65, and 44 per cent of tumours, respectively. Immunoreactivity for epoxide hydrolase and glutathione S-transferases was identified in both tumours and non-neoplastic breast tissue. The presence of different xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes may have a role in determining the intrinsic drug resistance of breast cancer to a variety of anti-cancer drugs, and the expression of these enzymes can readily be assessed using immunohistochemistry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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