Overexpression of group II phospholipase A2 in human breast cancer tissues is closely associated with their malignant potency

Br J Cancer. 1994 Jun;69(6):1166-70. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1994.229.


Membrane-associated phospholipase A2 (M-PLA2) is an enzyme that hydrolyses the sn-2 fatty acyl ester bond of phosphoglycerides. We measured M-PLA2 concentration in tissue extracts from 325 human breast cancers using a specific radioimmunoassay recently developed. Correlation analyses between the tissue concentration of M-PLA2 and clinicopathological factors showed that the enzyme level was significantly higher in patients with distant metastasis than in those without. In addition, M-PLA2 concentration was significantly higher in scirrhous carcinoma than in other histological types. No significant association was found between M-PLA2 concentration and age, menstrual status, tumour size, histological grade, vessel involvement or oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status. The expression of M-PLA2 mRNA was examined in a fibroadenoma, a stage IV breast cancer and its metastatic site of skin. Northern blot analysis showed a clear hybridisation band corresponding to M-PLA2 mRNA in both primary breast cancer and its metastatic site, while the fibroadenoma expressed a faint band corresponding to M-PLA2 mRNA. Breast cancer patients with high M-PLA2 concentrations exhibited significantly shorter disease-free and overall survival than those with low M-PLA2 concentration at the cut-off point of 5 ng 100 mg-1 protein, which was determined in a separate study. In multivariate analysis, M-PLA2 was found to be an independent prognostic factor for disease recurrence and death in human breast cancer. The possible significance of M-PLA2 expression in human breast cancer tissue is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Phospholipases A / analysis
  • Phospholipases A / biosynthesis*
  • Phospholipases A2
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Phospholipases A
  • Phospholipases A2