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Electrophoresis. 1997 Mar-Apr;18(3-4):582-7.

Analysis of polypeptide expression in benign and malignant human breast lesions.

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Unit of Cell and Molecular Analysis, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Results of two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analyses of human breast carcinoma are described. Tumor cells were extracted and purified from breast carcinomas with different proliferative indeces and degrees of genomic stability. Cells purified from fibroadenoma tissue served as controls for benign cells. The following results were observed: (i) Analysis of samples from different areas of the same tumor showed a high degree of similarity in the pattern of polypeptide expression. Similarly, analysis of two tumors and their metastases revealed similar 2-DE profiles. (ii) In contrast, large variations were observed between different lesions with comparable histological characteristics. Larger differences in polypeptide expression were observed between potentially highly malignant carcinomas compared to comparisons of less malignant lesions. These differences were in the same order of magnitude as those observed comparing a breast carcinoma to a lung carcinoma. (iii) The levels of all cytokeratin forms resolved (CK7, CK8, CK15, and CK18) were significantly lower in carcinomas compared to fibroadenomas. (iv) The levels of high molecular weight tropomyosins (1-3) were lower in carcinomas compared to fibroadenomas. The expression of tropomyosin-1 was found to be 1.7-fold higher in primary tumors with metastatic spread to axillar lymph nodes compared to primary tumors with no evidence of metastasis (p < 0.05). (v) The expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and some members of the stress protein family (pHSP60, HSP90, and calreticulin) were higher in carcinomas. We conclude that malignant progression of breast carcinomas results in large heterogeneity in polypeptide expression between different tumors, but that some common themes such as decreased expression of cytokeratin and tropomyosin polypeptides can be discerned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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