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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(10):2145-2156

Original Article
Expression of autophagy-related proteins in phyllodes tumor

Sang Kyum Kim, Woo Hee Jung, Ja Seung Koo

Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Hospital, Seoul, South Korea

Received August 13, 2013; Accepted September 5, 2013; Epub September 15, 2013; Published October 1, 2013

Abstract: Phyllodes tumors (PTs) are classified as fibroepithelial tumors and their histologic grade is determined primarily by the features of
the stromal component. In this study, we examined the expression profiles of autophagy-related proteins in the stromal component of PTs and
analyzed their clinical implications. We selected 204 human PT samples which were excised and diagnosed at Severance Hospital from 2000
to 2008 and created tissue microarray (TMA) blocks. Immunohistochemical assays for autophagy-related proteins (beclin-1, LC3A, LC3B, and
p62) were then performed on these samples. The surgical specimens from higher grade PTs less frequently displayed cytoplasmic
expression of beclin-1, LC3A, LC3B, and p62 in the stromal component (p<0.001). In univariate analysis, the following profiles were associated
with shorter disease-free survival and overall survival: nuclear beclin-1 positivity in the stromal component (p=0.013 and p=0.044, respectively),
LC3A positivity in the stromal component (p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively), and p62 positivity in the stromal component (p=0.012 and
p=0.004, respectively). In conclusion, we determined that increased activity of autophagy-related proteins correlated with a higher histologic
grade and poorer prognosis in PTs. These results lead us to conclude that the autophagy activity of the stromal cells plays a key role in the
progression of PTs. (IJCEP1308029).

Keywords: Breast, phyllodes tumor, autophagy

Address correspondence to: Dr. Ja Seung Koo, Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Hospital, 50
Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 120-752, South Korea. Tel: 82-2-2228-1772; Fax: 82-2-362-0860; E-mail: kjs1976@yuhs.ac