The ETS protein PEA3 functions as a transcription factor to regulate gene expression. Although members of the ETS family have been reported to be involved in tumor progression, ectopic expression of PEA3 has been shown to suppress tumor formation. Despite several studies demonstrated frequent expression of PEA3 and its high association with HER-2/neu and have suggested a potential role of PEA3 in breast cancer, contradictory result has shown that the PEA3 was associated with better survival rate in breast cancer. In the current study, we address this discrepancy by examining the expression of PEA3 and HER-2/neu on 289 archived breast cancer tumor tissues and their correlation with clinicopathologic factors and prognosis. The staining of PEA3 was further validated by in situ hybridization for PEA3 mRNA. We found PEA3 was positive in 22.2% (64/289) of all cases and only 25.6% (21/82) of HER-2/neu-overexpressing cases showed co-expression of PEA3. In contrast to HER-2/neu, PEA3 expression was not correlated with prognosis or major clinicopathologic factors, except for a negative correlation with lymphovascular permeation ( p=0.007). This study demonstrates that PEA3 expression is not correlated with HER-2/neu expression in breast cancer tumor tissues, nor is it associated with adverse clinicopathologic factors or prognosis.
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT 98(3):295-301