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Effect of different ERK2 protein localizations on prognosis of patients with invasive breast carcinoma

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Nakopoulou L, Mylona E, Rafailidis P, Alexandrou P, Giannopoulou I, Keramopoulos A. Effect of different ERK2 protein localizations on prognosis of patients with invasive breast carcinoma. APMIS 2005:113;693–701.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) pathways represent a cascade of phosphorylation events, including three pivotal kinases, Raf, MEK and ERK1/2, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer. We examined 151 cases of invasive breast carcinoma by immunohistochemistry and compared the ERK2 expression with clinicopathological parameters, MMP-11 immunoexpression and patients' survival. ERK2 immunoexpression was detected in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cancer cells in 37.7% and 19.2% of cases, respectively. Nuclear ERK2 was inversely correlated with ER (p=0.039), whereas cytoplasmic ERK2 was positively correlated with MMP-11 in fibroblasts (p=0.032) and more often expressed in lobular than ductal carcinomas (p=0.026). Nuclear ERK2 expression was found to be an independent prognostic factor of shortened overall survival of patients (p=0.040), while cytoplasmic ERK2 had an independent, favorable effect on both disease-free and overall survival (p<0.0001 and p=0.002, respectively). These findings suggest that the different subcellular localizations of ERK2 seem to be related to different, possibly contradictory, effects on patient survival.

Keywords: ERK2 kinase;; MMP-11; breast cancer; immunohistochemistry

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 2: Attikon Hospital, Athens, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2005


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