Localization of parathyroid hormone-related protein mRNA expression in breast cancer and metastatic lesions by in situ hybridization

J Bone Miner Res. 1992 Aug;7(8):971-9. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.5650070814.


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has been identified immunohistochemically in 60% of breast carcinoma and in 92% of breast cancer metastases in bone. To establish whether the localization of the PTHrP antigen reflects protein synthesis and also to investigate the role of PTHrP in metastatic disease, as part of an ongoing study, we used in situ hybridization to study the localization of PTHrP mRNA in a retrospective series of primary breast tumors and their metastatic lesions. Paraffin sections of 17 primary and 26 metastatic lesions, 11 of which were in bone, were available for the study: 10 of the 17 (59%) primary lesions, 8 of 11 (73%) breast cancer metastases to bone, and 3 of 15 (20%) metastases to non-bone sites showed specific localization of PTHrP mRNA. These findings establish that PTHrP is commonly synthesized by primary breast cancers and support previous immunohistochemical studies reporting a higher incidence of PTHrP-positive tumor cells in skeletal metastases than in nonskeletal metastases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • DNA Probes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA Probes
  • PTHLH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger