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Decreased expression of Yes-associated protein is associated with outcome in the luminal A breast cancer subgroup and with an impaired tamoxifen response
Lund University, Sweden .
Karolinska Institute, Sweden St Gorans University Hospital, Sweden .
University of Edinburgh, Scotland .
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Center for Surgery, Orthopaedics and Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology.
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2014 (English)In: BMC Cancer, ISSN 1471-2407, Vol. 14, no 119Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Yes-associated protein (YAP1) is frequently reported to function as an oncogene in many types of cancer, but in breast cancer results remain controversial. We set out to clarify the role of YAP1 in breast cancer by examining gene and protein expression in subgroups of patient material and by downregulating YAP1 in vitro and studying its role in response to the widely used anti-estrogen tamoxifen. Methods: YAP1 protein intensity was scored as absent, weak, intermediate or strong in two primary breast cancer cohorts (n = 144 and n = 564) and mRNA expression of YAP1 was evaluated in a gene expression dataset (n = 1107). Recurrence-free survival was analysed using the log-rank test and Cox multivariate analysis was used to test for independence. WST-1 assay was employed to measure cell viability and a luciferase ERE (estrogen responsive element) construct was used to study the effect of tamoxifen, following downregulation of YAP1 using siRNAs. Results: In the ER+ (Estrogen Receptor a positive) subgroup of the randomised cohort, YAP1 expression was inversely correlated to histological grade and proliferation (p = 0.001 and p = 0.016, respectively) whereas in the ER-(Estrogen Receptor a negative) subgroup YAP1 expression correlated positively to proliferation (p = 0.005). Notably, low YAP1 mRNA was independently associated with decreased recurrence-free survival in the gene expression dataset, specifically for the luminal A subgroup (p less than 0.001) which includes low proliferating tumours of lower grade, usually associated with a good prognosis. This subgroup specificity led us to hypothesize that YAP1 may be important for response to endocrine therapies, such as tamoxifen, extensively used for luminal A breast cancers. In a tamoxifen randomised patient material, absent YAP1 protein expression was associated with impaired tamoxifen response which was significant upon interaction analysis (p = 0.042). YAP1 downregulation resulted in increased progesterone receptor (PgR) expression and a delayed and weaker tamoxifen in support of the clinical data. Conclusions: Decreased YAP1 expression is an independent prognostic factor for recurrence in the less aggressive luminal A breast cancer subgroup, likely due to the decreased tamoxifen sensitivity conferred by YAP1 downregulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central , 2014. Vol. 14, no 119
Keyword [en]
Yes-associated protein; Breast cancer; Estrogen receptor; Luminal A; 11q deletion; Tamoxifen response; Independent prognostic factor
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105900DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-119ISI: 000332526900002OAI: diva2:712106
Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-04-12 Last updated: 2014-04-23

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Stål, Olle
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