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Cyclin D1 protein is overexpressed in hyperplasia and intraductal carcinoma of the breast


The cell cycle regulatory gene cyclin D1 is a candidate oncogene in breast cancer. It is overexpressed in 30-50% of invasive primary breast cancers and plays a key role in mediating mitogenic responses to steroids and growth factors in breast cancer cells in vitro. Because the role of cyclin D1 in the proliferative and early noninvasive stages of breast cancer is largely unknown, we examined normal breast epithelium (NBE), proliferative disease (PD), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and invasive carcinoma (IC) to evaluate the timing and possible importance of cyclin D1 expression in the development of breast cancer. Using immunohistochemistry, we examined cyclin D1 protein expression in 471 breast tissue samples. A quantitative scoring system for immunohistochemistry based on percentage of positive cells was developed that correlated with Western blot analysis of antigen concentration in paired samples (r2 = 0.91, P = 0.003). A sample was considered positive if >5% of relevant epithelial cells demonstrated nuclear staining. Cyclin D1 positivity was observed in 11.7% (7 of 60) samples of NBE, 25% (11 of 44) of PD without atypia, 39.4% (13 of 33) of atypical ductal hyperplasia, 43.6% (17 of 39) of low-grade DCIS, 47.9% (23 of 48) of high-grade DCIS, and 48.3% (99 of 205) of IC. Cyclin D1 expression was significantly higher in PD than NBE (P = 0.006) and in DCIS than PD (P = 0.038). There was no significant increase from DCIS to IC (P = 0.52). The increase in cyclin D1 expression in the overall progression from NBE to IC was also highly significant (P = 0.0001). Therefore, cyclin D1 expression was detected at levels significantly greater than in NBE in the earliest proliferative epithelial lesions of the breast with a further significant increase accompanying the progression to any form of cancer. This suggests that overexpression of cyclin D1 protein is important at the earliest stages of breast oncogenesis and continues to have a crucial role throughout the development of malignancy.

Type Journal
ISBN 1078-0432 (Print)
Authors Alle, K. M.;Henshall, S. M.;Field, A. S.;Sutherland, R. L. :
Published Date 1998-01-01
Published Volume 4
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 847-54
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version