Research Papers:

Prognostic values of distinct CBX family members in breast cancer

Yuan-Ke Liang, Hao-Yu Lin, Chun-Fa Chen and De Zeng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:92375-92387. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21325

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Yuan-Ke Liang1,2,*, Hao-Yu Lin3,*, Chun-Fa Chen3 and De Zeng4

1The Breast Center, Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China

2Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

3Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China

4Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

De Zeng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CBX, breast cancer, prognostic values, tamoxifen, chemosensitivity

Received: July 28, 2017    Accepted: August 17, 2017    Published: September 28, 2017


Chromobox (CBX) family proteins are canonical components in polycomb repressive complexes 1 (PRC1), with epigenetic regulatory function and transcriptionally repressing target genes via chromatin modification. A plethora of studies have highlighted the function specifications among CBX family members in various cancer, including lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. Nevertheless, the functions and prognostic roles of distinct CBX family members in breast cancer (BC) remain elusive. In this study, we reported the prognostic values of CBX family members in patients with BC through analysis of a series of databases, including CCLE, ONCOMINE, Xena Public Data Hubs, and Kaplan-Meier plotter. It was found that the mRNA expression of CBX family members were noticeably higher in BC than normal counterparts. CBX2 was highly expressed in Basal-like and HER-2 subtypes, while CBX4 and CBX7 expressions were enriched in Luminal A and Luminal B subtypes of BC. Survival analysis revealed that CBX1, CBX2 and CBX3 mRNA high expression was correlated to worsen relapse-free survival (RFS) for all BC patients, while CBX4, CBX5, CBX6 and CBX7 high expression was correlated to better RFS in this setting. Noteworthily, CBX1 and CBX2 were associated with chemoresistance whereas CBX7 was associated with tamoxifen sensitivity, as well as chemosensitivity in breast tumors. Therefore, we propose that CBX1, CBX2 and CBX7 are potential targets for BC treatment. The results might be beneficial for better understanding the complexity and heterogeneity in the molecular underpinning of BC, and to develop tools to more accurately predict the prognosis of patients with BC.

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