Mapping Bromodomains in breast cancer and association with clinical outcome

Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 5;9(1):5734. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41934-3.


A specific family of proteins that participate in epigenetic regulation is the bromodomain (BRD) family of proteins. In this work, we aimed to explore the expression of the BRD family at a transcriptomic level in breast cancer, and its association with patient survival. mRNA level data from normal breast and tumor tissues were extracted from public datasets. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed to identify relevant biological functions. The KM Plotter Online tool was used to evaluate the relationship between the presence of different genes and patient clinical outcome. mRNA level data from HER2+ breast cancer patients sensible and resistant to trastuzumab were also evaluated. The BRD family was an enriched function. In HER2 positive tumors the combined analyses of BRD2, BAZ1A, TRIM33 and ZMYND8 showed a detrimental relapse free survival (RFS). Similarly, the combined analysis of BRD2, BAZ1A, PHIP, TRIM33, KMT2A, ASH1L, PBRM1, correlated with an extremely poor overall survival (OS). The prognosis was confirmed using an independent dataset from TCGA. Finally, no relation between expression of BRD genes and response to trastuzumab was observed in the HER2 population. Upregulation of some BRD genes is associated with detrimental outcome in HER2 positive tumors, regardless trastuzumab treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Survival Rate
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • BRD2 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2