Hedgehog signaling pathway mediates the progression of non-invasive breast cancer to invasive breast cancer

Masae Souzaki, Makoto Kubo, Masaya Kai, Chizu Kameda, Haruo Tanaka, Tomoaki Taguchi, Masao Tanaka, Hideya Onishi, Mitsuo Katano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to clarify the contribution of the Hedgehog signaling pathway (Hh pathway) to the progression from ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). A total of 149 surgically resected mammary disease specimens and 12 sentinel lymph nodes with micro-metastasis (Ly-met) were studied. The degree of Hh pathway activation was estimated from the Gli1 nuclear staining ratio (%Gli1 nuclear translocation) in cancer cells. The invasiveness of breast cancer cells was determined using Matrigel assays. A serial increase of %Gli1 nuclear translocation to IDC from non-neoplastic diseases was confirmed. In tumor specimens, %Gli1 nuclear translocation correlated with the invasiveness of each type of mammary disease and also correlated with invasion-related histopathological parameters. The %Gli1 nuclear translocation in lymph nodes with micro-metastasis was similar to that in primary sites and higher than that in DCIS with microinvasion and DCIS. Blockade of the Hh pathway decreased the invasiveness of breast cancer cells. In IDC, %Gli1 nuclear translocation correlated with the expression of estrogen receptor-α. Estrogen increased %Gli1 nuclear translocation and the invasiveness of estrogen receptor-α-positive cells. The Hh pathway mediates progression from a non-invasive phenotype to an invasive phenotype and %Gli1 nuclear translocation may be useful as a predictive marker for evaluating the ability of invasiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Hedgehog signaling pathway mediates the progression of non-invasive breast cancer to invasive breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this