Aims: We investigated the correlation between protein expression of Aurora-A with hormone receptor expression and clinicopathological parameters in ovarian, breast and prostate cancer.
Methods: Subcellular expression of Aurora-A, and androgen receptor (AR), oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) expression, were examined by immunohistochemistry in human tissue microarrays of the three cancer types and by Western blot in cancer cell lines and selected patient tissues.
Results: Subgroups of all three cancer types exhibited both nuclear and cytoplasmic expression of Aurora-A. Nuclear presence of Aurora-A was observed in ER positive and negative breast cancer cell lines and tissues. Eighteen of the 126 (14%) tumour tissues that showed nuclear expression of Aurora-A were strongly associated with ER and PR positive breast tumours (p = 0.001). Cytoplasmic expression of AR and Aurora-A was strongly associated in prostate cancer tissues (45% versus 0, p = 0.015). Ovarian tumours (n = 45) with Aurora-A nuclear expression had decreased patient survival (mean survival, 29.5 versus 106.7 months; p < 0.0005) and showed a significant association with recurrence-free survival (mean survival 19.7 versus 95.9 months; p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Association between nuclear Aurora-A with hormone receptors in breast cancer and with poor clinical outcome in ovarian cancer suggests the significance of active Aurora-A in disease initiation and progression.