Differential expression of lipid metabolism-related proteins in different breast cancer subtypes

Sewha Kim, Yukyung Lee, Ja Seung Koo

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to determine the expression and clinical significance of proteins that are involved in lipid metabolism in human breast tumors. Methods: Tumors from 476 breast cancer patients were used to construct tissue microarrays. Then, immunohistochemistry (IHC) for hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), Perilipin 1(PLIN1), fatty acid binding protein 4(FABP4), carnitine palmitoyltransferase IA (CPT-1A), acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX-1), and fatty acid synthase (FASN) was performed on these microarrays. Results: Breast tumors were classified into 4 subtypes: luminal A (n = 242; 50.8%), luminal B (n = 134; 28.2%), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (n = 50; 10.5%), and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) (n = 50; 10.5%). The expression of PLIN1 (p < 0.001), FABP4 (p = 0.029), CPT-1A (p = 0.001), ACOX-1 (p < 0.001), and FASN (p < 0.001) differed significantly among these tumor subtypes. Notably, PLIN1, CPT-1A, and FASN expression was highest in HER2 tumors and lowest in TNBC tumors. Similarly, the expression of FABP4 and ACOX-1 was highest in HER2 tumors and lowest in luminal A tumors. In addition, ACOX-1 positivity was associated with significantly shorter overall survival (p = 0.018). When tumor subtype was considered, FABP4 positivity was associated with significantly shorter disease-free survival (p = 0.005) and overall survival (p = 0.041) in TNBC. Conclusion: Lipid metabolism-related proteins are differentially expressed in different IHC subtypes of breast cancer and some are associated with decreased survival rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0119473
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 9


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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