Expression of neuronal protein synuclein gamma gene as a novel marker for breast cancer prognosis

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Synucleins are emerging as central players in the fundamental neural processes and in the formation of pathologically insoluble deposits characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. However, synuclein γ (SNCG), previously identified as a breast cancer specific gene (BCSG1), is also highly expressed in breast carcinomas, but not expressed in normal or benign breast tissues. We analyzed SNCG gene expression in 93 clinical breast specimens and associated it with clinical outcome. Overall SNCG mRNA expression was detectable in 36% breast cancers. However, 81% of stage III/IV breast cancers were positive for SNCG expression, while only 15% of stage I/II breast cancers were positive for SNCG expression. In contrast, SNCG was undetectable in benign breast lesions. Expression of SNCG in the primary tumor also significantly associated with lymph node involvement and metastasis. There was no significant correlation between SNCG gene expression and age, menstruation, and status of ER, PR, PCNA, and HER-2. Patients whose tumors expressed SNCG had a significantly shorter DFS and a high probability of death when compared with those whose tumors did not express SNCG. The hazard ratio of metastasis or recurrence according to the SNCG status was 4.515 (95% CI, 1,188–17.154; P = 0.027). Cox multivariate analysis showed that SNCG had independent prognostic significance above and beyond conventional variables. This study suggests that the expression of SNCG is an independent predictive marker for recurrence and metastasis in breast cancer progression. SNCG is expected to be a useful marker for breast cancer progression and a potential target for breast cancer treatment.

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