Expression of autophagy related proteins in invasive lobular carcinoma: comparison to invasive ductal carcinoma

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014 May 15;7(6):3389-98. eCollection 2014.


The aim of this study is to compare the expression of autophagy related proteins in invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) with that of autophagy related proteins in invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), and to determinate its implication. Tissue microarray containing 114 ILC and 692 IDC was constructed, and immunohistochemistry was performed for autophagy related protein (beclin-1, LC3A, LC3B, p62) and Ki-67. No significant difference in expression of autophagy-related proteins between pleomorphic type (n = 12) and classic type (n = 102) of ILC was observed, whereas ILC and IDC showed distinguished features that tumoral beclin-1, stromal LC3A, tumoral LC3B, tumoral p62 were highly expressed in IDC and tumoral BNIP3 was highly expressed in ILC (P < 0.001). Beclin-1 expression was correlated with ER negativity (P = 0.016) and TNBC type (P = 0.024). BNIP3 expression was correlated with ER positivity (p = 0.040). Using multivariate Cox analysis, shorter overall survival was associated with tumoral beclin-1 positivity (hazard ratio: 21.19, 95% CI: 1.098-409.1, P = 0.043). In conclusion, ILC and IDC showed different expression pattern of autophagy-related proteins in tumor and stroma that demonstrated by higher expression of tumoral beclin-1, stromal LC3A, tumoral LC3B, tumoral p62 in IDC, and higher expression of tumoral BNIP3 in ILC.

Keywords: Autophagy; breast cancer; lobular cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / analysis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Autophagy*
  • Beclin-1
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / analysis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BECN1 protein, human
  • Beclin-1
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MAP1LC3B protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • P62 protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • light chain 3, human