Down-regulated ECRG4 expression in breast cancer and its correlation with tumor progression and poor prognosis - A short Report
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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.
KeywordsECRG4 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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