Protein microarray analysis of mammary epithelial cells from obese and nonobese women at high risk for breast cancer: feasibility data.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Obesity is a well-established risk factor for cancer, accounting for up to 20% of cancer deaths in women. Studies of women with breast cancer have shown obesity to be associated with an increased risk of dying from breast cancer and increased risk of developing distant metastasis. While previous studies have focused on differences in circulating hormone levels as a cause for increased breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women, few studies have focused on potential differences in the protein expression patterns of mammary epithelial cells obtained from obese versus nonobese women. METHODS: Protein expression was assessed by reverse-phase protein microarray in mammary epithelial cells from 31 random periareolar fine needle aspirations performed on 26 high-risk women. RESULTS: In this pilot and exploratory study, vimentin (unadjusted P=0.028) expression was significantly different between obese and nonobese women. CONCLUSIONS: Vimentin is integral both to adipocyte structure and function and to the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition needed for cancer cell metastasis. Further research is needed to confirm this finding and determine the possible effects of the adipocyte microenvironment on the initiation and progression of breast cancer in high-risk women. IMPACT: Differential protein expression patterns obtained from a future expanded study may serve to elaborate the underlying pathology of breast cancer initiation and progression in obese women and identify potential biomarkers of response to preventative interventions such as dietary changes and exercise.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pilie, PG; Ibarra-Drendall, C; Troch, MM; Broadwater, G; Barry, WT; Petricoin, EF; Wulfkuhle, JD; Liotta, LA; Lem, S; Baker, JC; Stouder, A; Ford, AC; Wilke, LG; Zalles, CM; Mehta, P; Williams, J; Shivraj, M; Su, Z; Geradts, J; Yu, D; Seewaldt, VL

Published Date

  • March 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 476 - 482

PubMed ID

  • 21242333

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3051011

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-7755

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0847


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States