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The neurofibromin 1 type I isoform predominance characterises female population affected by sporadic breast cancer: preliminary data

Abstract

Aims Neurofibromin 1 (NF1) as a tumour suppressor gene can give rise to several transcripts by an alternative splicing event, generated at least for CELF cofactors. At present, the NF1 isoforms and CELF splicing transcripts in sporadic breast cancer are unknown. The aim of the authors was to detect NF1 gene expression, the NF1 isoform ratio and the CELF transcripts present in sporadic breast cancer.

Methods Neurofibromin and RAS expression were analysed on tissue microarrays containing sporadic breast cancer (n=22), benign lesions (n=18, including six fibroadenomas, six fibrocystic changes and six ductal hyperplasias) and normal breast tissue (n=6) by immunohistochemistry assay. NF1 and CELF 3–6 RNA expression was performed by end point reverse transcription-PCR in the breast samples.

Results NF1 and RAS expression in breast tissues showed no differential expression by immunohistochemistry results. Interestingly, the authors observed a shift transition in the isoform transcripts, from type II in normal breast tissue to type I isoform in breast carcinomas. CELF cofactor expression failed to be related with the shift transition of NF1 in breast tissues.

Conclusions These data suggest that there is a tendency for an NF1 expression shift transition from type II to type I isoform, which could comprise a significant event in the development and progression of sporadic breast cancer. This shift transition may not be related with CELF cofactors.

  • NF1
  • isoforms
  • CELFs
  • breast cancer
  • expression

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