In our present study, we examined whether nuclear localization of Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is associated with the expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), hormone receptors, and other molecules affecting breast cancer prognosis. The expression of nuclear YB-1, clinicopathologic findings, and molecular markers [EGFR, HER2, estrogen receptor (ER)α, ERβ, progesterone receptor, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4), phosphorylated Akt, and major vault protein/lung resistance protein] were immunohistochemically analyzed. The association of the expression of nuclear YB-1 and the molecular markers was examined in breast cancer cell lines using microarrays, quantitative real-time PCR, and Western blot analyses. Knockdown of YB-1 with siRNA significantly reduced EGFR, HER2, and ERA expression in ERα-positive, but not ERα-negative, breast cancer cell lines. Nuclear YB-1 expression was positively correlated with HER2 (P = 0.0153) and negatively correlated with ERα (P = 0.0122) and CXCR4 (P = 0.0166) in human breast cancer clinical specimens but was not correlated with EGFR expression. Nuclear YB-1 expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall (P = 0.0139) and progression-free (P = 0.0280) survival. In conclusion, nuclear YB-1 expression might be essential for the acquisition of malignant characteristics via HER2-Akt-dependent pathways in breast cancer patients. The nuclear localization of YB-1 could be an important therapeutic target against not only multidrug resistance but also tumor growth dependent on HER2 and ERα.
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