ESPL1 is a candidate oncogene of luminal B breast cancers.
ESPL1/separase is a putative oncogene of luminal B breast cancers. Histoclinical correlations of its expression have never been explored in large series of breast tumors, and specifically in the luminal subtype. In a pooled series of invasive breast carcinomas profiled using DNA microarrays, we identified 3,074 luminal cases, including 1,307 luminal B tumors, in which we searched for correlations between ESPL1 mRNA expression and molecular and histoclinical features. Compared to normal breast samples, ESPL1 was overexpressed in 52 % of luminal tumors, and much more frequently in luminal B (83 %) than luminal A tumors (29 %). In luminal breast cancers, higher ESPL1 expression was associated with poor-prognosis criteria (age ≤ 50 years, ductal type, advanced stage, large tumor size, lymph node-positive status, high grade, PR-negative status, luminal B subtype) and with poor metastasis-free survival in both uni- and multivariate analyses. This independent prognostic value was also observed in luminal B tumors only, and persisted when compared with gene expression signatures (PAM50, Recurrence Score, Mammaprint, EndoPredict) currently proposed to refine the indications of adjuvant chemotherapy in hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. We also confirmed the observations made with experimental mouse models: ESPL1-overexpressing luminal tumors showed complex genomic profiles and molecular features of chromosomal instability and loss of tumor suppressor genes (P53 and Rb). Our results reinforce the idea that ESPL1 is a candidate oncogene in luminal B cancers. Its expression may help improve the prognostication. Inhibiting ESPL1 may represent a promising therapeutic approach for these poor-prognosis tumors.Lire l‘article