High nuclear phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase expression associated with poor differentiation, larger tumor size, and advanced stage of breast cancer

Hsing Tao Kuo, Hui Ting Hsu, Chun Chao Chang, Ming Chung Jiang, Chung Min Yeh, Ko Hung Shen, Pei Chi Hsu, Cheng Jeng Tai

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) is implicated in the malignant behavior of breast cancer cells. However, previous clinical-pathological studies have shown that expression of activated/phosphorylated ERK1/2 is not associated with enhanced proliferation and invasion of mammary carcinomas. ERK1/2 is expressed in the cytoplasm, and activated/phosphorylated ERK1/2 translocates to the nucleus. The aim of this study is to evaluate nuclear phosphorylated ERK1/2 as a biomarker for breast cancer prognosis. The clinical-pathological relation of cytoplasmic/nuclear phosphorylated ERK1/2 was analyzed in 105 surgically resected breast cancer specimens by immunohistochemistry with tissue microarray. The results showed that non-neoplastic breast tissue mainly showed faint phosphorylated ERK1/2 staining. No statistically significant association was found between the level of cytoplasmic phosphorylated ERK1/2 expression and the clinical features of the disease. High nuclear phosphorylated ERK1/2 expression was associated with high grade (poor differentiation, p = = 0.010), high T status (larger tumor size, p = 0.033), and an advanced stage (p = 0.018) of the disease. Thus, nuclear phosphorylated ERK1/2 is associated with enhanced pro-liferation and invasion of mammary carcinomas and may be a biomarker for breast cancer prognosis and the determination of therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalPolish Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Breast cancer
  • ERK1/2
  • Nuclear
  • Phosphorylation
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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