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Berger, Luisa; Kolben, Thomas; Meister, Sarah; Kolben, Theresa M.; Schmoeckel, Elisa; Mayr, Doris; Mahner, Sven; Jeschke, Udo; Ditsch, Nina and Beyer, Susanne (2020): Expression of H3K4me3 and H3K9ac in breast cancer. In: Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology, Vol. 146, No. 8: pp. 2017-2027 [PDF, 1MB]


PURPOSE Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in females. Histone modifications have been shown to have an influence on the gene expression. This study focusses on the histone modifications H3K9ac and H3K4me3 in breast cancer and their impact on survival METHODS: H3K4me3 and H3K9ac expression was immunohistochemically examined in 235 tissue samples. RESULTS Positive estrogen receptor status was correlated with a higher IRS of the nuclear (p = 0.033), and of the cytoplasmic H3K4me3 staining (p = 0.009). H3K9ac intensity was associated to the Her2 status (p = 0.045) and to poor prognosis in cells with positive Ki67 status (p = 0.013). A high intensity of nuclear H3K4me3 staining was found to be correlated with a lower 10-year-survival (p = 0.026) and with lower breast cancer-specific survival (p = 0.004). High percentage score (> 190) of H3K9ac expression was correlated to worse breast cancer-specific survival (p = 0.005). Shorter progression-free survival was found in patients with nuclear (p = 0.013) and cytoplasmic H3K4me3expression (p = 0.024) and H3K9ac expression (p = 0.023). CONCLUSION This analysis provides new evidence of histone modifications in breast cancer. High H3K4me3 and H3K9ac expression was correlated with survival rates. Further investigation of histone modifications in breast cancer could lead to a more profound understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cancer development and could result in new therapeutic strategies.

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