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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Low expression of RECQL is associated with poor prognosis in Chinese breast cancer patients

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Huiying Xu, Ye Xu, Tao Ouyang, Jinfeng Li, Tianfeng Wang, Zhaoqing Fan, Tie Fan, Benyao Lin, Yuntao Xie
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-4585-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Huiying Xu and Ye Xu contributed equally to this work.



RECQL is a number of the RecQ DNA helicase family and plays an important role in maintaining genome stability. Although several studies have reported that RECQL mutations were correlated with the susceptibility to breast cancer, the effect on prognosis in breast cancer was not yet clarified. Here, we explored the association between RECQL expression level and survival in patients with breast cancer.


In the first cohort, the RECQL mRNA expression level was evaluated in 774 primary breast cancer patients using a quantitative real-time PCR assay. Then, in the second independent cohort, the level of RECQL protein expression was detected in 322 patients with breast cancer using immunohistochemistry assay. Survival curves of patients with RECQL expression were compared using the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank test.


In the first cohort of 774 breast cancer patients, the low expression level of RECQL mRNA was significantly correlated with aggressive clinicopathological characteristics, including the positive lymph node status (P = 0.026), HER2 overexpression (P < 0.001), ER negative status (P = 0.047) and high tumor grade (P = 0.041). Moreover, the low expression level of RECQL mRNA was significantly associated with poor distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS, unadjusted hazard ratio (HR): 2.77, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.88–4.09, P < 0.001) and disease-specific survival (DSS, unadjusted HR: 3.10, 95% CI: 1.84–5.20,P < 0.001), and it remained an independent unfavorable factor for DRFS and DSS (DRFS: adjusted HR: 3.04, 95% CI: 1.89–4.87, P < 0.001; DSS: adjusted HR: 4.25, 95% CI: 2.12–8.46, P < 0.001). In the second cohort of 322 breast cancer patients, low expression of RECQL protein was also subject to poor survival in breast cancer, and it was an independent prognosis factor of poor DRFS by multivariate analysis (DRFS: adjusted HR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.16–3.88, P = 0.015).


Breast cancer patients with low RECQL expression had a worse survival. The expression level of RECQL may be a potential prognosis factor for breast cancer.
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