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TitleOverexpression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor α in breast cancer is associated with tumour progression
Author(s)Carvalho, Inês
Milanezi, Fernanda
Martins, Albino
Reis, R. M.
Schmitt, Fernando C.
Issue dateAug-2005
PublisherBioMed Central (BMC)
JournalBreast cancer research
Citation"Breast cancer research". ISSN 1465-5411. 7:5 (Aug. 2005) R788-R795.
Abstract(s)Introduction Receptor tyrosine kinases have been extensively studied owing to their frequently abnormal activation in the development and progression of human cancers. Plateletderived growth factor receptors (PDGFRs) are receptors with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity that regulate several functions in normal cells and are widely expressed in a variety of malignancies. After the demonstration that gastrointestinal stromal tumours without c-Kit mutations harbour PDGFR-α-activating mutations and that PDGFR-α is also a therapeutic target for imatinib mesylate, the interest for this receptor has increased considerably. Because breast cancer is one of the most frequent neoplasias in women worldwide, and only one study has reported PDGFR-α expression in breast carcinomas, the aim of this work was to investigate the potential significance of PDGFR-α expression in invasive mammary carcinomas. Methods We used immunohistochemistry to detect PDGFR-α overexpression on a series of 181 formalin-fixed paraffinembedded invasive ductal breast carcinomas and in two breast cancer cell lines: MCF-7 and HS578T. We associated its expression with known prognostic factors and we also performed polymerase chain reaction–single-stranded conformational polymorphism and direct sequencing to screen for PDGFR-α mutations. Results PDGFR-α expression was observed in 39.2% of the breast carcinomas and showed an association with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0079), HER-2 expression (P = 0.0265) and Bcl2 expression (P = 0.0121). A correlation was also found with the expression of platelet-derived growth factor A (PDGF-A; P = 0.0194). The two cell lines tested did not express PDGFR-α. Screening for mutations revealed alterations in the PDGFR-α gene at the following locations: 2500A→G, 2529T→A and 2472C→T in exon 18 and 1701G→A in exon 12. We also found an intronic insertion IVS17-50insA at exon 18 in all sequenced cases. None of these genetic alterations was correlated with PDGFR-α expression. The cell lines did not reveal any alterations in the PDGFR-α gene sequence. Conclusion PDGFR-α is expressed in invasive breast carcinomas and is associated with biological aggressiveness. The genetic alterations described were not correlated with protein expression, but other mechanisms such as gene amplification or constitutive activation of a signalling pathway inducing this receptor could still sustain PDGFR-α as a potential therapeutic target.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals

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