BECN1 mRNA expression in breast cancer tissue; significant correlation to tumor grade

Aglan, Sarah Ahmed, Awad, Ahmed Mostafa, Elwany, Yasmine Nagy, Shawky, Sanaa, Salam, Radwa Mohamed Abdel, Omar, Rasha Said, Ghazala, Rasha Abdel Mawla, Soliman, Nada Ahmed, Khedr, Marwa Ibrahim et al (2024) BECN1 mRNA expression in breast cancer tissue; significant correlation to tumor grade. Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 299 . ISSN 1617-4615

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Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogenous disease with multiple pathways implicated in its development, progression, and drug resistance. Autophagy, a cellular process responsible for self-digestion of damaged organelles, had been recognized as eminent player in cancer progression and chemotherapeutic resistance. The haploinsufficiency of Beclin 1 (BECN1), autophagy protein, is believed to contribute to cancer pathogenesis and progression. In our study, we investigated the expression of BECN1 in a BC female Egyptian patient cohort, as well as its prognostic role through evaluating its association with disease free survival (DFS) after 2 years follow up and association of tumor clinicopathological features. Twenty frozen female BC tissue samples and 17 adjacent normal tissue were included and examined for the expression levels of BECN1. Although the tumor tissues showed lower expression 0.73 (0–8.95) than their corresponding normal tissues 1.02 (0.04–19.59), it was not statistically significant, p: 0.463. BECN1 expression was not associated with stage, nodal metastasis or tumor size, p:0.435, 0.541, 0.296, respectively. However, statistically significant negative correlation was found between grade and BECN1 mRNA expression in the studied cases, p:0.028. BECN1 expression had no statistically significant association with DFS, P = 0.944. However, we observed that triple negative (TNBC) cases had significantly lower DFS rate than luminal BC patients, p: 0.022, with mean DFS 19.0 months, while luminal BC patients had mean DFS of 23.41 months. Our study highlights the potential role of BECN1 in BC pathogenesis, showing that BECN1 expression correlates with poorer differentiation of BC, indicating its probable link with disease aggressiveness. DFS two years follow up showed that TNBC subtype remains associated with less favorable prognosis.

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