Bone metastasis-related signaling pathways in breast cancers stratified by estrogen receptor status

Naoki Hayashi, Takayuki Iwamoto, Yuan Qi, Naoki Niikura, Libero Santarpia, Hideko Yamauchi, Seigo Nakamura, Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, Lajos Pusztai, W. Fraser Symmans, Naoto T. Ueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Breast cancer bone metastasis (BCBM)-specific genes have been reported without considering biological differences based on estrogen receptor (ER) status. The aims of this study were to identify BCBM-specific genes using our patient dataset and validate previously reported BCBM-specific genes, and to determine whether ER-status-related biological differences matter in identification of BCBM-specific genes. Methods: We used Affymetrix GeneChips to analyze 365 primary human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative invasive breast cancer specimens. Genes that were differentially expressed between patients who developed bone metastasis and those who developed non-bone metastasis were identified using Cox proportional hazards model, and differential expression of gene sets was assessed using gene set analysis. We performed gene set analysis to determine whether biological function associated with bone metastasis were different by ER status using 2,246 functionally annotated gene sets assembled from Gene Ontology data base. Results: Among 16,712 probe sets, 592 were overexpressed in the bone metastasis cohort compared to the non-bone-metastasis cohort (false discovery rate = 0.05). However, no BCBM-specific genes met our significance tests when the cancers were stratified by ER status. In ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers, 151 and 125 gene sets, respectively, were overexpressed for BCBM and the majority of BCBM-related pathways were different. Of significant gene sets, only 13 gene sets were overlapped between ER-positive and -negative cohorts. Conclusion: ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers have different biological pathways in BCBM development. We have yet to explore BCBM-related biomarkers and targets considering the biological features associated with BCBM depending on the ER status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1052
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 9 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone metastasis
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor status
  • Gene expression
  • Gene sets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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