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Effect of the different phosphorylated Smad2 protein localizations on the invasive breast carcinoma phenotype

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Liapis G, Mylona E, Alexandrou P, Giannopoulou I, Nikolaou I, Markaki S, Keramopoulos A, Nakopoulou L. Effect of the different phosphorylated Smad2 protein localizations on the invasive breast carcinoma phenotype. APMIS 2007;115:104–14.

Smad2 participates in the TGF-β signaling pathway, where it cooperates with transcription factors to regulate expression of defined genes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression pattern of phosphorylated Smad2 (pSmad2) in association with clinicopathological parameters and biological markers of proliferation and invasion. Immunohistochemistry was applied on paraffin-embedded sections from 164 patients with invasive breast carcinomas to detect the expression of the proteins pSmad2, ER, PR, Ki67, topoisomerase IIa, ERK2, catenin-p120, MMP-14 and TIMP-2. pSmad2 protein was detected in the nuclei of the malignant cells (68.1%) and in the tumor fibroblasts (55.2%). Nuclear pSmad2 was inversely correlated with histological grade and LN (p=0.047 and p=0.05) as well as with Ki67 and topoIIa (p=0.003 and p=0.021, respectively). There was also an inverse relation between nuclear pSmad2 and normal immunoexpression of the adhesion molecule catenin-p120 (p=0.028). Both nuclear and stromal pSmad2 were positively correlated with ERK2 of tumor fibroblasts (p=0.008 and p=0.0001, respectively), while stromal pSmad2 was furthermore related to stromal MMP-14 and tumor TIMP-2 (p=0.006 and p=0.022, respectively). Patients with high expression of cancerous pSmad2 tended to have a better prognosis, although statistic significance was never reached. pSmad2 was found to play a dual role, according to its distribution. Nuclear localization was thus found to be related to a less aggressive tumor phenotype, whereas stromal location was associated with an invasive phenotype.
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Keywords: Smad2; TGFβ; breast cancer; immunohistochemistry; invasion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Medical School, 2: Attikon Hospital and 3: Alexandra Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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