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01.12.2017 | Primary Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Cancer Cell International 1/2017

The clinicopathological significance of UBE2C in breast cancer: a study based on immunohistochemistry, microarray and RNA-sequencing data

Cancer Cell International > Ausgabe 1/2017
Chao-hua Mo, Li Gao, Xiao-fei Zhu, Kang-lai Wei, Jing-jing Zeng, Gang Chen, Zhen-bo Feng
Wichtige Hinweise
Chao-hua Mo and Li Gao contributed equally as first authors
Gang Chen and Zhen-bo Feng contributed equally as corresponding authors



Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C (UBE2C) has been previously reported to correlate with the malignant progression of various human cancers, however, the exact molecular function of UBE2C in breast carcinoma (BRCA) remained elusive. We aimed to investigate UBE2C expression in BRCA and its clinical significance.


The expression of UBE2C in 209 BRCA tissue samples and 53 adjacent normal tissue samples was detected using immunohistochemistry. The clinical role of UBE2C was analyzed. Public databases including the human protein atlas and Oncomine were used to assess UBE2C expression in BRCA. Moreover, the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) database was employed to investigate the prognostic value of UBE2C in BRCA.


The positive expression rate of UBE2C in BRCA was 70.8% (148/209), and UBE2C expression in the adjacent breast tissue was negative. The expression of UBE2C was positively correlated with tumor size (r = 0.32, P < 0.001), histological grade (r = 0.237, P = 0.001), clinical stage (r = 0.198, P = 0.004), lymph node metastasis (r = 0.155, P = 0.026), HER2 expression level (r = 0.356, P < 0.001), Ki-67 expression level (r = 0.504, P < 0.001), and P53 expression level (r = 0.32, P = 0.001). Negative correlations were found between UBE2C expression and the ER (r = − 0.403, P < 0.001) and PR (r = − 0.468, P < 0.001) status. UBE2C gene expression data from the public databases all proved that UBE2C was overexpressed in BRCA. According to the TCGA data analysis, a higher positive expression of UBE2C was associated with worse survival of BRCA patients (P = 0.0428), and data from cBioPortal indicated that 11% of all sequenced BRCA patients possessed a gene alteration of UBE2C, predominately gene amplification and mRNA regulation.


Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C might pose an oncogenic effect on the progression of BRCA.
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