Clinical importance of phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 expression in breast cancer

Clin Transl Oncol. 2012 Dec;14(12):911-22. doi: 10.1007/s12094-012-0880-5. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Background: Several biomarkers have been previously studied for breast cancer to define risk of recurrence and metastasis. Phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 (PRL-3) is one of them. High PRL-3 expression has been found to be correlated with axillary lymph node metastasis and survival in breast cancer. Herein, we evaluated the prognostic significance of PRL-3 expression and the relationship between PRL-3 and other clinicopathological factors.

Methods: PRL-3 expression was analyzed immunohistochemically in 122 invasive breast cancer tissues. We evaluated the correlation between PRL-3 and other clinicopathological factors by χ² test. Kaplan-Meier test and log rank method were used to define prognostic importance of PRL-3 expression.

Results: Of 122 breast cancer tumor samples, 46 (37.7 %) were negative while 76 (62.3 %) were positive in respect to PRL-3 expression. There was significant correlation between PRL-3 expression and other clinicopathological factors, such as histology, lymphovascular invasion (LVI), necrosis, progesterone receptor (PR) status, and the presence of triple negative disease. Tumors with LVI and necrosis had more positive PRL-3 expression compared to tumors without LVI or necrosis (P = 0.05 and 0.03, respectively). Triple negative and cerb-B overexpressed breast cancers were found to be more positive PRL-3 expression than hormone receptor positive with cerb-B negative groups (luminal A) (P = 0.02).We could not find any relationship between PRL-3 expression and overall survival (OS) or disease-free survival (DFS) (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Although PRL-3 expression was related to LVI or necrosis which is important for tumor invasiveness, we could not find that PRL-3 as an important prognostic factor in breast cancer patients. In addition, triple negative and cerb-B overexpressed tumors, which had worse prognosis compared to hormone receptor positive without cerb-B expressed group, associated with also PRL-3 positivity more than PRL-3 negative group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / metabolism*


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • PTP4A3 protein, human
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases