Author(s): Sens MA, Somji S, Garrett SH, Beall CL, Sens DA, Sens MA, Somji S, Garrett SH, Beall CL, Sens DA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The third isoform (MT-3) of the metallothionein gene family is unique in that it has a limited tissue distribution, is not induced by metals, has a neuronal growth inhibitory activity, and sequesters zinc more effectively under zinc-depleted conditions. The goal of the present study was to determine whether MT-3 was absent in normal breast tissue, was overexpressed in breast cancers, and if MT-3 overexpression would be associated with disease outcome. A combination of immunohistochemistry and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to demonstrate that the normal breast had no detectable expression of MT-3 mRNA or protein. Using immunohistochemistry, it was shown that MT-3 was overexpressed in 25 of 34 cases of breast cancer. In all cases of positive staining, MT-3 was diffusely localized to the cytoplasm. The tumors from these 34 cases were divided as to outcome based on known 5-year survival, with 20 patients being disease free at 5 years (good outcome) and the other 14 having recurring disease within 5 years (bad outcome). When analyzed for MT-3 staining, it was shown that there was a trend for increased MT-3 immunoreactivity in the group having bad outcomes. However, when the tumor subgrouping was further defined on the basis of carcinoma in situ (CIS), there was a marked significant difference in MT-3 staining between patients with good and bad outcomes. Limited to DCIS, MT-3 staining was significantly increased in patients with bad outcomes compared to those with good outcomes. Thus, these studies demonstrate that MT-3 is overexpressed in selected breast cancers and that overexpression is associated with tumors having a poor prognosis.
This article was published in Am J Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases