Laminin 332 (LN332) is a basally expressed extracellular matrix protein that enhances the migration and invasion of breast carcinoma cells. The goal of this study was to examine LN332 expression breast carcinoma. Triple negative breast carcinomas lack estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) expression and HER2 positivity. Immunohistochemistry for ER, PR, HER2, and dual silver in situ hybridization for the HER2 gene were used to define the phenotype of 243 breast cancers in biopsies or arrays. Immunohistochemistry for LN332 revealed that 70% of triple negative carcinomas stained for LN332. Cytokeratins 5/6 (CK5/6), epidermal growth factor receptor and p63 alone stained fewer triple negative breast carcinomas each, but the combination of LN332 and CK5/6 or epidermal growth factor receptor identified 92% of triple negative breast carcinoma. Of the 163 non-triple negative cases, LN332 was expressed in only 15%. The identification of LN332 in triple negative breast carcinomas is consistent with gene profiling studies showing its expression among breast carcinomas with a basal phenotype. The observation that a proinvasive protein such as LN332 is expressed in breast cancer suggests another mechanism by which the triple negative phenotype could be aggressive.
Keywords: Basal-like phenotype; Breast carcinoma; HER2 dual in situ hybridization; Immunohistochemistry; Laminin 332; Triple negative.