Overexpression of UHRF1 and its potential role in the development of invasive ductal breast cancer validated by integrative bioinformatics and immunohistochemistry analyses

Yichen Yang, Guanjun Liu, Lifang Qin, Li Ye, Fangheng Zhu, Ying Ying


Background: Increasing evidence has highlighted the role of ubiquitin-like PHD and RING finger domain-containing protein 1 (UHRF1) in the development of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, and bladder cancer. However, the correlation between UHRF1 and breast cancer remains unclear. The present study aimed to analyze the expression of UHRF1 and its role in the development of invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) by integrating multilevel expression data and immunohistochemistry analysis.
Methods: The Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) databases were used to gather UHRF1 expression data on IDC. Additionally, immunohistochemistry analysis was used to investigate the correlations between UHRF1 expression and the clinical characteristics of IDC.
Results: The GEO and TCGA databases indicated that UHRF1 was up-regulated in IDC. Consistently, the immunohistochemical specimens showed that the significant overexpression of UHRF1 in IDC, and its expression level showed an increasing trend from ductal carcinomas in situ to IDC. Notably, the increased levels of UHRF1 were closely correlated with estrogen receptor expression, pathological grade, and the prognosis of the disease. In addition, patients with a high UHRF1 expression had a poorer prognosis.
Conclusions: In conclusion, our findings suggested that UHRF1 plays a promoting role in breast tumorigenesis, and the over-expression of UHRF1 could serve as a biomarker for the prognosis in invasive ductal carcinomas in breast cancer.