Immunohistochemical analysis of 14-3-3 sigma and related proteins in hyperplastic and neoplastic breast lesions, with particular reference to early carcinogenesis

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In order to confirm the role of 14-3-3 sigma (σ) as a tumor suppressor in breast carcinogenesis, we have studied the expression of 14-3-3σ immunohistochemically in usual ductal hyperplasia (UDH), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) breast lesions. Immunostaining for estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), p53 and estrogen-responsive RING finger protein (Efp) was also carried out. Immunohistochemically, expression of 14-3-3σ was seen in 92% UDH lesions and gradually decreased from 65% in DCIS to 23% in IDC. The expression of ERα decreased gradually from UDH to DCIS to IDC, while p53 showed an inverse staining pattern to that of ERα. The expression of Efp showed no significant difference among the three breast lesions. Hence, the present immunohistochemical study confirmed 14-3-3σ as a tumor suppressor in breast carcinogenesis. A similar immunohistochemical analysis was then carried out on columnar cell hyperplasia with atypia (CCHA), in which the expression pattern of tumor suppressor 14-3-3σ, ERα and p53 suggested that it might be possible that CCHA is a precancerous lesion.

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