Overexpression of Pofut1 and activated Notch1 may be associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Sep 9;491(1):104-111. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.07.053. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


Purpose: The present study was to evaluate the prognostic value of protein expression of Pofut1 and Notch1 signaling in breast cancer.

Material and methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded 314 breast specimens including 174 infiltrating ductal carcinoma(IDC), 50 ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) and 90 adjacent normal tissue(ANT) were immunohistochemically examined to evaluate the protein expression of Pofut1, activated Notch1(N1IC) and Slug on specimens. Survival analysis was performed by Kaplan-Meier method and Cox's proportional-hazards model. A online database was computationally used to further explore the prognostic role of Pofut1 and Notch1 mRNA expression by Kaplan-Meier Plotter.

Results: Pofut1, Slug and N1IC expression were significantly increased in IDC compared to ANT(all p < 0.05). High expression of Pofut1, Slug and N1IC were associated with tumor aggressiveness including lymph node metastasis (LNM: p = 0.005 for Pofut1, p < 0.001 for N1IC, p = 0.017 for Slug), advanced stage(p = 0.039 for Pofut1, p = 0.025 for N1IC) and higher histological grade(p = 0.001 for N1IC). Additionally, high expression of Pofut1 was found to be significantly associated with high expressions of N1IC and Slug in IDC(r = 0.244, p = 0.001; r = 0.374, p < 0.001, respectively), similar correlation was also observed between high N1IC and Slug expression(r = 0.496, p < 0.001). Moreover, Kaplan-Meier and Cox's regression analysis indicated the significant prognostic value of elevated Pofut1, N1IC, Slug expressions, positive LNM and advanced tumor stage for the prediction of a shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival(OS). The web-based analysis also suggested a significant association of high Pofut1 and Notch1 mRNA expression with worse survival outcome.

Conclusion: Our findings suggested that overexpression of Pofut1 and activated Notch1 signaling may be associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Notch1; Pofut1; Prognosis; Slug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, Notch1 / metabolism*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Rate
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • NOTCH1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Notch1
  • Fucosyltransferases
  • polypeptide fucosyltransferase