KAI1 protein is down-regulated during the progression of human breast cancer

X. Yang, L. Wei, C. Tang, R. Slack, E. Montgomery, M. Lippman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The KAI1 gene was identified as a metastasis suppressor gene for human prostate cancer. Recently, we showed that KAI1 mRNA levels were higher in an immortal, normal-like breast epithelial cell line and nonmetastatic breast cancer cell lines but lower substantially in highly metastatic breast cancer cell lines. In this study, we examined KAI1 protein expression in breast cancer cell lines by Western blot and immunohistochemical study. KAI1 protein levels paralleled KAI1 mRNA levels and were inversely correlated with the metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, we examined KAI1 protein expression immunohistochemically in specimens from 81 patients with breast cancer and then correlated the findings with the clinical and histopathological parameters of the patients. High levels of KAI1 protein expression were found in normal breast tissues and noninvasive breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ). In contrast, KAI1 expression was reduced in most of the infiltrating breast tumors. We found that, in general, more malignant tumors demonstrated significantly lower KAI1 expression (P = 0.004). Additionally, among 29 specimens demonstrating multiple stages of malignancy within a single specimen, 23 demonstrated significant differences in KAI1 expression between benign breast tissue, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive carcinoma. The higher the incidence for malignancy within a given specimen, the lower the KAI1 expression (P < 0.001). These data suggest that in advanced breast cancer, KAI1 expression is down-regulated. Therefore, KAI1 may be a potentially useful indicator of human breast cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3424-3429
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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