Absence of the DNA repair enzyme human 8-oxoguanine glycosylase is associated with an aggressive breast cancer phenotype
AIMS To clarify the role of oxidative stress during breast carcinogenesis by studying the expression of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) (a marker of oxidative DNA damage) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) (a marker of lipid peroxidation) during the different phases of breast carcinogenesis. METHODS AND RESULTS The study material consisted of a total of 219 patients: 31 with usual ductal hyperplasia (UDH), 25 with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), 30 with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 133 with invasive carcinoma. The expression of 8-OHdG and HNE were evaluated immunohistochemically. Both 8-OHdG (77.4%) and HNE (45.8%) expression was already seen in UDH lesions. Interestingly, the trend of these two immunostainings during breast carcinogenesis was diverse. 8-OHdG expression diminished significantly in invasive breast carcinomas compared to non-invasive lesions (P < 0.005 when set against non-invasive cohorts). Also within the same lesions, 8-OHdG expression was the most intensive in benign cells. Conversely, HNE immunostaining was strongest in invasive breast carcinomas (UDH versus invasive cohort, P = 0.015). CONCLUSIONS 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal as a marker of lipid peroxidation increases during breast carcinogenesis, reflecting the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. However, 8-OHdG shows diminished levels in carcinomas, possibly resulting from the induction of DNA repair in these invasive lesions.