High SLC20A1 Expression Is Associated With Poor Prognoses in Claudin-low and Basal-like Breast Cancers

Anticancer Res. 2021 Jan;41(1):43-54. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.14750.


Background/aim: SLC20A1 has been identified as a prognostic marker in ER+ breast cancer. However, the role of SLC20A1 expression in breast cancer subtypes other than the ER+ types remains unclear.

Materials and methods: Genomics datasets were downloaded and analyzed, and the effect of SLC20A1 knockdown using targeted siRNA on cell viability and tumor-sphere formation was assessed.

Results: SLC20A1high patients with ER+, claudin-low or basal-like breast cancers showed poor prognoses. SLC20A1high patients treated with radiotherapy had poor clinical outcomes. SLC20A1 knockdown suppressed the viability of MDA-MB 231 (claudin-low), MDA-MB 468 (basal-like) and MCF-7 (ER+) cells, and tumor-sphere formation by ALDH1high cells. These results suggest that SLC20A1 is involved in cancer progression and contributes to clinical outcomes in patients with ER+, claudin-low and basal-like breast cancers.

Conclusion: SLC20A1 is a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target in ER+, claudin-low and basal-like breast cancers.

Keywords: ALDH1; Breast cancer; SLC20A1; basal-like; cancer stem cell; claudin-low; prognostic marker.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Claudins / genetics*
  • Claudins / metabolism
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Expression*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / mortality*
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type III / genetics*
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type III / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Claudins
  • SLC20A1 protein, human
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type III