Cancer science

High levels of DJ-1 protein and isoelectric point 6.3 isoform in sera of breast cancer patients.

PMID 25867058


In patients with cancer and Parkinson's disease, the DJ-1 protein may be secreted into the serum during the impaired response of the underlying cell-protective mechanisms. In order to determine the clinical significance of DJ-1 protein in the sera of breast cancer patients, we examined blood samples from a breast cancer group (n = 180) and a non-cancerous control group (n = 300). Higher levels of DJ-1 were detected in the breast cancer group (mean level, 42.7 ng/mL) than the control group (28.3 ng/mL) by ELISA (P = 0.019). Higher DJ-1 levels were significantly associated with advanced clinical grade, according to the TNM classification, negative hormone receptor status, and high Ki-67 labeling index, of biopsied materials; samples showed low DJ-1 protein expression despite upregulated DJ-1 mRNA. DJ-1 isoforms could be detected clearly in 17 blood samples (from 11 breast cancer patients, and 6 non-cancerous controls) by 2-D gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis. The isoform at the pI of 6.3 showed the highest intensity in all 11 cancer cases. Conversely, in the 6 non-cancerous cases, isoforms other than the pI 6.3 isoform were highly expressed, and there was a significant difference in the isoform pattern between breast cancer cases and controls (P = 0.00025). These data indicate that high levels of DJ-1, probably of isoform at pI 6.3, is a candidate serum marker of breast cancer.