Immunologic research

Anti-centrosome antibodies in breast cancer are the expression of autoimmunity.

PMID 25420961


Centrosome abnormalities have been observed in nearly all human solid tumors, but their role in tumorigenesis is unclear. We have demonstrated that autoantibodies reacting with antigens in centrosomes are frequently found in BC sera. In this work, we attempted to characterize the centrosome antigens associated with BC. We immunoscreened a T7 cDNA library of BC proteins with BC sera, and the autoantigens identified were printed as a microarray and hybridized with BC and control sera. We used immunohistochemistry (IHC) to investigate the expression of the cloned autoantigens in BC tissue. Immunoscreening with BC sera led to the cloning of autoantibodies recognizing epitopes developing in a family of proteins located on centrosomes such as peri-centriolar material-1, isomorph CRA, stathmin1, HS actin gamma1, SUMO/sentrin peptidase 2, and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2 variant 1. Antibody reactivity to these proteins that are associated with centrosome assembly and/or microtubule function was highly associated with the diagnosis of BC. IHC staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections with specific antibodies showed that aurora and stathmin are expressed in BC. The discovery of autoantibodies to important centrosome antigens associated with BC suggests that this immune reactivity could be related to autoimmunity developing in BC. Our finding that some of these antibodies are also present in a group of healthy women suggests that breakdown of tolerance to centrosome proteins may occur early in breast carcinogenesis and that autoantibodies to centrosome antigens might be biomarkers of early BC.