Elevated expression of retinoic acid receptor-alpha (RAR alpha) in estrogen-receptor-positive breast carcinomas as detected by immunohistochemistry

Published on Thursday, 19 January 2017


Retinoids modulate gene activity, cell growth and differentiation by binding to a series of nuclear receptors, i.e., retinoic acid receptors (RARs) or retinoid X receptors.

Retinoic acid (RA) inhibition of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast carcinoma seems to be mediated through RAR alpha. Estrogens upregulate RAR alpha in ER-positive breast carcinoma cell lines.

In this study we examined RAR alpha expression in the ER-positive MCF7 and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cell lines as well as in 10 ER-negative and 9 ER-positive infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma specimens using immunohistochemistry and quantitation by image cytometry.

MCF7 cells expressed twofold higher levels of RAR alpha protein than MDA-MB-231 cells. RAR alpha expression, as detected by immunostaining and quantitated by image cytometry, was upregulated in these cells by estradiol.

ER-positive breast carcinoma specimens also exhibited approximately two-fold higher RAR alpha levels than their ER-negative counterparts.

Thus, RAR alpha expression is significantly elevated in ER-positive breast tumors as assessed by detection and quantitation using immunohistochemical staining and image cytometry, respectively.

Whether the decrease in RAR alpha protein levels and loss of RA-mediated growth inhibition in ER-negative tumor plays a role in the increased metastatic potential of ER-negative tumors remains to be determined.



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See also:

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives);

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonisn, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.