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Involvement of semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) and the receptor proteins of the plexins B family (plexin-B1, -B2 and -B3) in solid tumours suggests they play a role in breast cancer. In the present study, the expression of Sema4D and plexin-Bs was examined in a breast cancer cohort. The expression of Sema4D and plexin-Bs was examined in 147 tumours together with 22 normal mammary tissues using quantitative PCR along with clinicopathological patient data, as well as in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines treated with selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The expression of Sema4D, plexin-B1 and -B2 was markedly reduced in tumours with local recurrence, compared to the patients that remained disease-free. The reduced Sema4D expression was associated with poorer disease-free survival (median, 111.6 months, 95% CI, 96.5-126.7), compared to the patients with a higher expression (median, 144.0 months; 95% CI, 130.8-157.3; p=0.033). A reduced expression of plexin-B1 was observed in tumours with poorer differentiation and was associated with poorer overall and disease-free survival. No similar association was identified in relation to plexin-B2 and -B3. A higher expression of Sema4D and plexin-B1 was observed in the ERα-positive tumours compared to the ERα-negative tumours. The expression of these molecules was largely regulated in breast cancer cells exposed to SERMs. A decreased expression of Sema4D, plexin-B1 and -B2 was associated with local recurrence and poor prognosis. Response to SERMs indicated potential perspectives of these molecules in clinical assessment and management of diseases.


Muhammad Faraz Arshad Malik, Lin Ye, Wen G Jiang. Reduced expression of semaphorin 4D and plexin-B in breast cancer is associated with poorer prognosis and the potential linkage with oestrogen receptor. Oncology reports. 2015 Aug;34(2):1049-57

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PMID: 26035216

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