HIF-1α Overexpression in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Carriers

Petra van der Groep, Paul J. van Diest, Yvonne H.C.M. Smolders, Margreet G.E.M. Ausems, Rob B. van der Luijt, Fred H. Menko, Joost Bart, Elisabeth G.E. de Vries, Elsken van der Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies have revealed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation-related breast cancers show frequent overexpression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), the key regulator of the hypoxia response. However, the question remained whether hypoxia is a late stage bystander or a true carcinogenetic event in patients with hereditary predisposition. We therefore studied HIF-1α overexpression in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an established precursor of invasive breast cancer. We used immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of the hypoxia markers HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 in DCIS and available invasive carcinoma lesions of 32 BRCA1, 16 BRCA2 and 77 non-BRCA mutation-related cases. HIF-1α expression was detected in 63% of BRCA1 and 62% of BRCA2 as compared to 34% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.005). CAIX overexpression was present in 56% of BRCA1 and 44% of BRCA2 as compared to 6% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.000). Glut-1 overexpression was observed in 59% of BRCA1, 75% of BRCA2 and 67% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.527). Overall, HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 expression in BRCA mutation-related DCIS matched the expression in the accompanying invasive cancers in 60% or more of cases. In non-BRCA mutation-related cases the expression of the hypoxia markers in DCIS matched the expression in the invasive part in 46% or more of the cases. Although BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation-related invasive breast cancers are different in many ways, the hypoxia-related proteins HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 are expressed in both DCIS and invasive lesions of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. This suggests that hypoxia may already play a role in the DCIS stage of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation related breast carcinogenesis, and may also drive cancer progression. Hypoxia-related proteins are therefore putative targets for therapy and molecular imaging for early detection and monitoring therapy response in BRCA mutation patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56055
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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