Cellular Oncology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 89–95 | Cite as

Down-regulated ECRG4 expression in breast cancer and its correlation with tumor progression and poor prognosis - A short Report

  • Yanjie You
  • Haijun Li
  • Xin Qin
  • Yonggang Ran
  • Fei WangEmail author



Recently, we identified the esophageal carcinoma related gene 4 (ECRG4) as a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene and a promising therapeutic target in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). In addition, we found that reduced ECRG4 expression in NPC was associated with promoter hypermethylation. The aim of the current study was to assess the expression status of the ECRG4 protein in breast cancer and to clarify its clinicopathological significance and potential prognostic implications.


Western blotting was used to examine ECRG4 protein levels in 20 paired breast cancer tissues and adjacent noncancerous tissues. In addition, we performed ECRG4 immunohistochemistry on 113 clinicopathologically well-characterized breast cancer samples and assessed putative associations between its expression and overall patient survival rates.


We found that ECRG4 protein expression was significantly reduced in the breast cancer tissues compared to the noncancerous tissues. Clinicopathological analyses revealed that loss of ECRG4 protein expression, observed in 41.6 % (47/113) of the primary breast cancer tissues tested, was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.026), advanced tumor stage (P = 0.042) and unfavorable overall survival (P = 0.004). Additional multivariate analyses revealed that ECRG4 protein expression may serve as an independent prognostic factor for the prediction of patient survival (P = 0.033).


Our data suggest that loss of ECRG4 protein expression may be involved in tumor progression and may serve as a prognostic biomarker for breast cancer.


ECRG4 Breast cancer Immunohistochemistry Prognosis 



This work was supported in part by the Science and Technology Planning Project of Henan Province, China (142102310464), the Key Research Foundation of Higher Education of Henan Province, China (15B320003), the Annual Natural Science Foundation of Luohe Medical College (2015-S-LMC02), the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2014CFC1154), the Foundation of Medical College of Hubei University of Arts and Science (YXKY 201402) and the Scientific Research Foundation for Doctoral Program of Hubei University of Arts and Science (X. Qin).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Cellular Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanjie You
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Haijun Li
    • 5
  • Xin Qin
    • 6
  • Yonggang Ran
    • 7
  • Fei Wang
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Pathological Examination and Research CenterLuohe Medical CollegeLuoheChina
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyLuohe Medical CollegeLuoheChina
  3. 3.Luohe Key Laboratory of Medical BioengineeringLuohe Medical CollegeLuoheChina
  4. 4.Bioengineering LaboratoryLuohe Medical CollegeLuoheChina
  5. 5.Department of Radiation OncologyThe Second People’s Hospital of Neijiang CityNeijiangChina
  6. 6.Medical CollegeHubei University of Arts and ScienceXiangyangChina
  7. 7.Department of Teaching and TrainingBethune Military Medical NCO Academy of PLAShijiazhuangChina

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