p185 overexpression in 220 samples of breast cancer undergoing primary surgery: comparison with c-erbB-2 gene amplification

Int J Mol Med. 1998 May;1(5):855-61. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.1.5.855.


In breast cancer, DNA amplification of the oncogene c-erbB-2, encoding for the p185 protein, is associated with a poor prognosis. A retrospective study on a population of 220 cases of primary breast cancer permitted a quantitative measure of p185 oncoprotein overexpression by an immunoenzymetric assay and the determination of c-erbB-2 amplification by the Southern blot method. A correlation existed between the two measurements (r=0.85) using the double cut-off: DNA 2 copies and p185 400 U/mg protein, and only 2.7% of the cases were discordant. 13.2% of the tumors showed p185 overexpression. The percentage of tumors overexpressing p185 was significantly different between the groups with amplified and non-amplified c-erbB-2. We observed a significant correlation between p185 levels and tumor grade (p=0.03), and an inverse correlation with hormonal receptors (p=0.0001). The p185 assay could be an additional prognostic factor to better define patient subgroups with node negative, grade II, and positive or negative hormonal receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, erbB-2 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Receptor, ErbB-2