Rhomboid family gene expression profiling in breast normal tissue and tumor samples

Tumour Biol. 2014 Feb;35(2):1451-8. doi: 10.1007/s13277-013-1199-8. Epub 2013 Nov 2.


Rhomboid is an evolutionary conserved and functionally diversified group of proteins composed of proteolytically active and inactive members that are involved in the modulation of multiple biological processes such as epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway, endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation, cell death, and proliferation. Recently, several human rhomboid genes have been associated with the development of chronic myeloid leukemia and pituitary, colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers. In this study, we evaluated the mRNA and protein expression profiles of rhomboid genes in cancer cell lines and breast tissue/tumor samples. In silico analysis of publicly available gene expression datasets showed that different rhomboid genes are specifically expressed according to the breast cancer intrinsic subtypes. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed a significant RHBDD2 mRNA overexpression in advanced breast cancer compared with normal tissue samples (p = 0.012). In addition, we found that RHBDL2 and PARL mRNA expression was associated with a low/intermediate histologic tumor grade (p = 0.024 and p = 0.015, respectively). Immunohistochemistry analysis showed a significant increase of RHBDD2 protein expression in association with breast cancer samples negative for progesterone receptor (p = 0.015). Moreover, protein expression analysis corroborated the quantitative RT-PCR results, indicating that breast primary tumors belonging to patients with a more disseminated disease expressed significantly increased levels of RHBDD2 protein compared with less disseminated tumors (p = 0.01).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Breast / metabolism*
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RHBDD2 protein, human