Background: We studied the expression of DMBT1 (deleted in malignant brain tumor 1), a putative tumor suppressor gene, in normal, proliferative, and malignant breast epithelium and its possible relation to cell cycle. Methods: Sections from 17 benign lesions and 55 carcinomas were immunostained with anti DMBT1 antibody (DMBTh12) and sections from 36 samples, were double-stained also with anti MCM5, one of the 6 pre-replicative complex proteins with cell proliferation-licensing functions. DMBT1 gene expression at mRNA level was assessed by RT-PCR in frozen tissues samples from 39 patients. Results: Normal glands and hyperplastic epithelium in benign lesions displayed a luminal polarized DMBTh12 immunoreactivity. Normal and hyperplastic epithelium adjacent to carcinomas showed a loss of polarization, with immunostaining present in basal and perinuclear cytoplasmic compartments. DMBT1 protein expression was down-regulated in the cancerous lesions compared to the normal and/or hyperplastic epithelium adjacent to carcinomas (3/55 positive carcinomas versus 33/42 positive normal/hyperplastic epithelia; p = 0.0001). In 72% of cases RT-PCR confirmed immunohistochemical results. Most of normal and hyperplastic mammary cells positive with DMBTh12 were also MCM5-positive. Conclusions: The redistribution and up-regulation of DMBT1 in normal and hyperplastic tissues flanking malignant tumours and its down-regulation in carcinomas suggests a potential role in breast cancer. Moreover, the concomitant expression of DMTB1 and MCM5 suggests its possible association with the cell-cycle regulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research