Expression of autophagy-related proteins in metastatic breast cancer of different site

Woo Young Sun, Hye Min Kim, Ja Seung Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of autophagy-related proteins and their clinical implications in primary and metastatic breast cancer. Immunohistochemical staining of autophagy-related proteins (beclin-1, LC3A, LC3B) in 162 metastatic breast cancers (bone metastasis = 47, brain metastasis = 39, liver metastasis = 24, and lung metastasis = 52) was performed using tissue microarray (TMA). The expression of autophagy-related proteins in tumor cells varied according to metastatic site. Tumoral LC3A expression was high in brain and lung metastasis (P < 0.001), stromal LC3A in bone metastasis (P < 0.001), and stromal LC3B in liver metastasis (P = 0.017), respectively. In univariate analysis, beclin-1 positivity (P = 0.002) was associated with shorter overall survival (OS). In analysis by metastatic site, beclin-1 positivity (P = 0.002) and activated autophagy status (P = 0.009) in bone metastasis as well as beclin-1 positivity (P = 0.016) and tumoral LC3A positivity (P = 0.038) in lung metastasis were related to shorter OS. In conclusion, the expression of autophagy-related proteins varied according to the site of metastasis and was correlated with prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7040-7049
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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