Nuclear NHERF1 expression as a prognostic marker in breast cancer

A. Paradiso, E. Scarpi, A. Malfettone, T. Addati, F. Giotta, G. Simone, D. Amadori, A. Mangia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our purpose was to investigate whether Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) expression could be linked to prognosis in invasive breast carcinomas. NHERF1, an ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) binding phosphoprotein 50, is involved in the linkage of integral membrane proteins to the cytoskeleton. It is therefore believed to have an important role in cell signaling associated with changes in cell cytoarchitecture. NHERF1 expression is observed in various types of cancer and is related to tumor aggressiveness. To date the most extensive analyses of the influence of NHERF1 in cancer development have been performed on breast cancer. However, the underlying mechanism and its prognostic significance are still undefined. NHERF1 expression was studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a cohort of 222 breast carcinoma patients. Association of cytoplasmic and nuclear NHERF1 expression with survival was analyzed. Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were determined based on the Kaplan-Meier method. Cytoplasmic NHERF1 expression was associated with negative progesterone receptor (PgR) (P=0.017) and positive HER2 expression (P=0.023). NHERF1 also showed a nuclear localization and this correlated with small tumor size (P=0.026) and positive estrogen receptor (ER) expression (P=0.010). Multivariate analysis identified large tumor size (P=0.011) and nuclear NHERF1 expression (P=0.049) to be independent prognostic variables for DFS. Moreover, the nuclear NHERF1(+)/ER(+) immunophenotype (27%) was statistically associated with large tumor size (P=0.0276), high histological grade (P=0.0411), PgR-negative tumors (Po0.0001) and high proliferative activity (P=0.0027). These patients had worse DFS compared with patients with nuclear NHERF1(+)/ER(+) tumors (75.4% versus 92.6%; P=0.010). These results show that the loss of nuclear NHERF1 expression is associated with reduced survival, and the link between nuclear NHERF1 and ER expression may serve as a prognostic marker for the routine clinical management of breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere904
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • EBP50
  • NHERF1 expression
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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