Background and aim: We investigated the prognostic importance of dickkopf-1(DKK1) and beta-catenin expression in triple negative breast cancers.
Methods: The expression of DKK1 and beta-catenin was evaluated in breast cell lines using RT-PCR and western blot. Immunohistochemistry was used to characterize the expression pattern of DKK1 and beta-catenin in 85 triple negative breast cancers and prognostic significance was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression modeling.
Results: The expression of DKK1 was confirmed in hormone-resistant breast cell lines MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-231-HM and MDA-MB-435. Expression of DKK1 in triple negative breast cancers correlated with cytoplasmic/nuclear beta-catenin (p = 0.000). Elevated expression of DKK1 and cytoplasmic/nuclear beta-catenin in triple negative cancers indicate poor outcome of patients. DKK1 was also a prognostic factor for patients with earlier stage or no lymph node metastasis.
Conclusion: DKK1 together with beta-catenin might be important prognostic factors in triple negative breast carcinoma. DKK1 might be a valuable biomarker in predicting the prognosis of patients with earlier stage or no lymph node metastasis. It is possible that through further understanding of the role of Wnt/beta-catenin pathway activation, beta-catenin would be a potential therapeutic target for the triple negative breast cancer.