Oncoprotein 18/stathmin (Op18) is a conserved cytosolic phosphoprotein that regulates microtubule dynamics. The microtubule destabilizing activity is regulated by phosphorylation, mediated by both growth factor stimulated- and cell-cycle regulating kinases. The protein is highly expressed in a variety of human malignancies. In human breast carcinoma, Op18 has previously been shown to be up-regulated in a subset of the tumours, however, no correlation with clinicopathologic characteristics has been reported so far. In the present study we have examined Op18 protein expression by quantitative Western blot analysis in a panel of 151 semi-consecutive breast carcinoma samples. Op18 levels were negatively correlated with oestrogen receptor (OR) expression and positively correlated with a high fraction of aneuploid cells, proliferation measured by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression, tumour size and histopathologic grade. Taken together, and in contrast to what has been previously reported, the present study shows that high Op18 expression correlates with general predictive factors and is not restricted to a specific sub-group of breast carcinoma. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaig
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