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The overexpression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), a proto-oncogene, affects progression, treatment, and diagnosis of many adenocarcinomas. C-myc has been shown to be a downstream target of EpCAM and is also one of the most important proto-oncogenes routinely overexpressed in breast cancer. However, cooverexpression of EpCAM and c-myc genes has not been investigated in breast cancer tissues, particularly in Iranian population. The aim of this study was to assess the expression of EpCAM and c-myc genes in malignant breast cancer tissues using reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) followed by analyses of the association between the outcomes. In this study, 122 fresh tissues, including 104 malignant and 18 benign samples, were disrupted by mortar and pestle, and then the RNA was isolated from the samples and converted to cDNA. The relative expression levels of EpCAM and c-myc genes were measured by 2-ΔΔCt method using RT-qPCR. EpCAM protein level was also assessed in 66 cases using Western blot technique. Using RT-qPCR method, our results showed that EpCAM was overexpressed in 48% of malignant and 11.1% of benign samples. Evaluating EpCAM protein overexpression in a portion of samples depicted the fully concordance rate between Western blot and RT-qPCR techniques. C-myc expression was first evaluated by RT-qPCR method, showing the overexpression rate of 39% and 28% in malignant and benign samples, respectively. These data were also quite concordant with the clinically available immunohistochemistry reports of the same samples studied in this study. Importantly, overexpression of EpCAM and c-myc was significantly associated and showed an agreement of 57.3%. This study demonstrated the cooverexpression of EpCAM and c-myc in breast tumours collected from breast cancer patients of the Iranian population. EpCAM and c-myc positive cases were significantly associated with reduced and enhanced risk of ER/PR positivity respectively. However, both were associated with grade III of breast cancer.

Citation

Samira Sadeghi, Zohreh Hojati, Hossein Tabatabaeian. Cooverexpression of EpCAM and c-myc genes in malignant breast tumours. Journal of genetics. 2017 Mar;96(1):109-118

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PMID: 28360395

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