Caveolin-1 and -2 (CAV1, CAV2) are closely linked genes localised to the fragile region of 7q31 (FRA7G), and loss of heterozygosity involving this region has been reported in breast cancer. Several studies have suggested that CAV1 is a negative regulator of HER2/neu signal transduction in vitro. However, the clinical significance of CAV1 in breast cancer has not yet been clarified. We examined quantitatively the mRNA levels of CAV1, CAV2 and HER2/neu in 162 cases of breast cancer using real-time PCR. Caveolin-1 and -2 protein expression was also examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. We then evaluated for correlations between CAV1, CAV2 and HER2/neu gene expression and clinicopathologic factors in the 162 breast cancer cases. Results showed higher HER2/neu mRMA levels and lower CAV1 and CAV2 mRMA levels in breast cancer tissues than in corresponding normal tissues (P < 0.001). Caveolin-1 and -2 protein expression levels were also suppressed in cancer tissues compared to normal tissues by Western blotting. Immunohistochemistry revealed that CAV1 and CAV2 proteins were abundantly expressed in mammary gland myoepithelial cells, but only weakly in ductalepithelial cells. Reduced CAV1 mRNA level was significantly associated with increasing tumour size (P = 0.041), and negative oestrogen receptor status (P = 0.021). There was also a significant association between low CAV2 mRNA level and negative progesterone receptor status (P = 0.013), and between high HER2/neu mRNA level and negative hormonal receptor status (ER, P = 0.029, PgR, P = 0.019). While there was no relationship between HER2/neu and CAV1 mRNA levels, a significant association between CAV1 and CAV2 mRNA levels was observed (P < 0.001). Our results indicated that CAV1 suppression correlated closely with that of CAV2 in breast cancer, that CAV1 level was inversely correlated with tumour size, and that CAV1 and CAV2 levels were correlated with hormonal receptor status. Therefore, CAV1 and CAV2 play an important role in tumour progression in breast cancer patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research