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Expression of the forkhead transcription factor FOXL2 correlates with good prognosis in breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen
University Orebro, Sch Hlth and Med Science, Department Clin Med, S-70185 Orebro, Sweden .
University Orebro, Sch Hlth and Med Science, Department Clin Med, S-70185 Orebro, Sweden .
Skovde University, Sch Life Science, Syst Biol Research Centre, S-54145 Skovde, Sweden .
Orebro University Hospital, Sch Hlth and Med Science, Department Pathol, S-70185 Orebro, Sweden .
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2011 (English)In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY, ISSN 1019-6439, Vol. 38, no 4, 1145-1151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aromatase is an important enzyme in the local synthesis of oestrogens and its expression has been shown to be increased in breast cancer through the activation of multiple promoters. However, the mechanisms behind this are not yet fully understood. A novel candidate in this context is the transcription factor forkhead box L2 (FOXL2), which has been recognised to be co-expressed with aromatase and transcriptionally active promoter 11 in developing goat and chicken ovaries. We propose that FOXL2 could be involved in the increased expression of aromatase in breast cancer. We examined FOXL2 and its relation to aromatase in 132 postmenopausal breast cancer patients by immunohistochemistry. Using in silico analysis, we further searched for FOXL2 binding-elements in the aromatase gene promoters. The results demonstrate that FOXL2 is expressed in breast cancer and influences clinical outcome with improved recurrence-free survival in cases with nuclear expression. In a multivariate Cox model, nuclear FOXL2 was a significant prognostic factor in ER-positive patients treated with tamoxifen (HR=0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.04-0.81, P=0.03). Tumours expressing nuclear FOXL2 were also more likely positive for stromal and/or cytoplasmic aromatase (P=0.03 and P=0.008, respectively). In silico analyses revealed binding elements of FOXL2 in promoters 1.3, 11 and 17 of the aromatase gene of which promoter 1.7 was most significant. In conclusion, this is the first study to report that FOXL2 is expressed in breast cancer and correlates with aromatase as well as with clinical outcome. The results further strengthen a possible binding of FOXL2 to aromatase promoter 1.7. Nevertheless, whether FOXL2 is a direct activator of aromatase requires further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Spandidos Publications , 2011. Vol. 38, no 4, 1145-1151 p.
Keyword [en]
breast cancer, forkhead box L2, aromatase, tissue specific promoters, in silico
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67306DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2011.923ISI: 000288581100027OAI: diva2:409396
Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-04-08 Last updated: 2011-04-08

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Stål, Olle
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OncologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Oncology UHL
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ReferencesLink to record
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