TRPS1 is a Highly Sensitive Marker for Breast Cancer: A Tissue Microarray Study Evaluating More Than 19,000 Tumors From 152 Different Tumor Entities

Am J Surg Pathol. 2024 Jun 1;48(6):637-651. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000002213. Epub 2024 Apr 18.


Trichorhinophalangeal syndrome 1 (TRPS1) is a nuclear protein highly expressed in breast epithelial cells. TRPS1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) has been suggested as a breast cancer marker. To determine the diagnostic and prognostic utility of TRPS1 IHC, tissue microarrays containing 19,201 samples from 152 different tumor types and subtypes were analyzed. GATA3 IHC was performed in a previous study. TRPS1 staining was seen in 86 of 152 tumor categories with 36 containing at least one strongly positive case. TRPS1 staining predominated in various types of breast carcinomas (51%-100%), soft tissue tumors (up to 100%), salivary gland tumors (up to 46%), squamous cell carcinomas (up to 35%), and gynecological cancers (up to 40%). TRPS1 positivity occurred in 1.8% of 1083 urothelial neoplasms. In invasive breast carcinoma of no special type, low TRPS1 expression was linked to high grade ( P = 0.0547), high pT ( P < 0.0001), nodal metastasis ( P = 0.0571), loss of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor expression ( P < 0.0001 each), and triple-negative status ( P < 0.0001) but was unrelated to patient survival ( P = 0.8016). In squamous cell carcinomas from 11 different sites, low TRPS1 expression was unrelated to tumor phenotype. Positivity for both TRPS1 and GATA3 occurred in 47.4% to 100% of breast cancers, up to 30% of salivary gland tumors, and 29 (0.3%) of 9835 tumors from 134 other cancer entities. TRPS1 IHC has high utility for the identification of cancers of breast (or salivary gland) origin, especially in combination with GATA3. The virtual absence of TRPS1 positivity in urothelial neoplasms is useful for the distinction of GATA3-positive urothelial carcinoma from breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / analysis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / analysis
  • Female
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Repressor Proteins* / analysis
  • Tissue Array Analysis*
  • Transcription Factors / analysis