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Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is a bio-marker of aggressiveness in breast cancer and is a potential target for therapeutic intervention Habibi, Golareh


Early detection is one of the most important factors for successful treatment of cancer. Currently, scientists are searching for molecular markers that can help identify and predict outcome and chance of recurrence in patients. In this study, we demonstratet he potential impact of Y-Box binding protein-1 (YB-1) as a marker of aggressiveness and cancer recurrence in breast malignancies by screening one of the largest tissue microarrays in North America. YB-1 is an oncogenic transcription/translation factor, which is over-expressed in the majority of malignancies, including breast cancer. In the cohort of 4049 primary breast tumours, we show that YB-1 is a strong marker of aggressiveness, poor survival and cancer recurrence in all subtypes of human breast cancer with a particularly high frequency of expression in the ER negative basal-like and HER-2 breast cancer subtypes. This suggests that targeting YB-1 may provide a new avenue for therapeutic intervention in these breast cancers that are currently challenging to treat. Cox regression multivariate analysis indicates that YB-1 is second only to nodal status as a strong independent prognostic marker for poor outcome and relapse compared to established clinico-pathological biomarkers, including tumour size, age, grade, ER and HER-2 status. This finding suggests that YB-1 has great potential to be in a priority list of biomarkers for identifying the patients with a higher risk of relapse and poor outcome. Subsequently, we find an association between YB-1 and urokinase Plasminogen Activator (uPA) expression in the basal-like subtype. We then show that YB-1 is involved in the regulation of uPA expression. More importantly, silencing YB-1 or uPA results in a significant reduction in cancer cell invasion. As there are no commercially available YB-linibitors we examine the efficacy of BMS-536924, a small molecule inhibitor for activated IGF-1R/IR on SUM149 cells. We demonstrate that activated IGF-1R is associated with poor survival in primary breast tumours and, that BMS-536924 reduces uPA expression through inhibition YB-1 in SUM149 cells. We therefore conclude that YB-1 is a bio-marker for poor survival and relapse. We also indicate that YB-1 has potential use as a molecular marker in a clinical setting. Inhibiting YB-1 may provide an ideal opportunity for targeted therapy in breast cancer.

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