Clinicopathological and prognostic correlations of HER3 expression and its degradation regulators, NEDD4–1 and NRDP1, in primary breast cancer



Abstract Background Human epidermal growth factor receptor HER3 (ErbB3), especially in association with its relative HER2 (ErbB2), is known as a key oncogene in breast tumour biology. Nonetheless, the prognostic relevance of HER3 remains controversial. NEDD4–1 and NRDP1 are signalling molecules closely related to the degradation of HER3 via ubiquitination. NEDD4–1 and NRDP1 have been reported to contribute to HER3-mediated signalling by regulating its localization and cell membrane retention. We studied correlations between HER3, NEDD4–1, and NRDP1 protein expression and their association with tumour histopathological characteristics and clinical outcomes. Methods The prevalence of immunohistochemically detectable expression profiles of HER3 (n = 177), NEDD4–1 (n = 145), and NRDP1 (n = 145) proteins was studied in primary breast carcinomas on archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. Clinicopathological correlations were determined statistically using Pearson’s Chi-Square test. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test (Mantel-Cox), and Cox regression analysis were utilized for survival analysis. Results HER3 protein was expressed in breast carcinomas without association with HER2 gene amplification status. Absence or low HER3 expression correlated with clinically aggressive features, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) phenotype, basal cell origin (cytokeratin 5/14 expression combined with ER negativity), large tumour size, and positive lymph node status. Low total HER3 expression was prognostic for shorter recurrence-free survival time in HER2-amplified breast cancer (p = 0.004, p = 0.020 in univariate and multivariate analyses, respectively). The majority (82.8%) of breast cancers demonstrated NEDD4–1 protein expression - while only a minor proportion (8.3%) of carcinomas expressed NRDP1. NEDD4–1 and NRDP1 expression were not associated with clinical outcomes in HER2-amplified breast cancer, irrespective of adjuvant trastuzumab therapy. Conclusions Low HER3 expression is suggested to be a valuable prognostic biomarker to predict recurrence in HER2-amplified breast cancer. Neither NEDD4–1 nor NRDP1 demonstrated relevance in prognostics or in the subclassification of HER2-amplified breast carcinomas.
Date made available26 Oct 2018

Field of science, Statistics Finland

  • 3122 Cancers
  • 318 Medical biotechnology
  • 217 Medical engineering

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