, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 65-73

Expression of pp32 gene family members in breast cancer

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The pp32 gene family consists of at least three closely related members, pp32, pp32r1 and pp32r2. In spite of a high degree of identity at the nucleotide level, pp32 functionally behaves as a tumor suppressor where as pp32r1 and pp32r2 are pro-oncogenic. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine pp32-related expression and whether alternative gene use among the pp32 family members occurred in human breast cancer. As a first step, in situ hybridization with a riboprobe capable of hybridizing with all the three members showed abundant pp32-related mRNA in benign ducts and acini and in infiltrating ductal carcinomas. A total of 100/102 cases were positive. Further, a detailed molecular analysis by RT-PCR, cloning, and sequencing was performed in five frozen infiltrating breast carcinomas and matched benign breast tissues. Oncogenic pp32r1 (5/5) and pp32r2 (3/5) expression was observed in carcinomas where as benign breast tissues expressed pp32. 4/5 carcinomas continued to express pp32 but one was devoid of pp32 expression. These results suggest that alternative expression of pp32 family members may be common in human breast cancer and the analysis of the profile of pp32-related expression might be helpful in understanding the role of these genes in breast cancer pathogenesis.