Analysis of membranous Ki-67 staining in breast cancer and surrounding breast epithelium
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Membranous Ki-67 staining with the MIB-1 antibody has been described in hyalinising trabecular adenomas of the thyroid and sclerosing haemangiomas of the lung. Its relatively rare occurrence in breast tumours has also been documented. The aim of the present study was to assess the rate of any membranous MIB-1 staining in breast specimens. The staining was performed at room temperature with 1:100 dilution of the antibody. One hundred four core needle biopsies and 41 operative specimens were analysed. Membranous staining was noted in 36/144 invasive carcinomas, 20/42 in situ carcinomas and 46/99 cases of peritumoural benign/normal breast epithelium. Most often, it presented as focal and partial polarised luminal membranous staining although complete circumferential staining also occurred, and membranous labelling was sometimes accompanied by cytoplasmic staining, too. In a few cases tested, greater dilution of the primary antibody did not abolish the membranous staining, which was absent with the SP6 monoclonal Ki-67 antibody. The membranous staining of invasive tumours showed no association with histological grade, lumen formation, oestrogen or progesterone receptor status or the Ki-67 nuclear labelling. In contrast, it was associated with a HER2-positive status, although it occurred in all molecular subtypes approached by immunohistochemistry. The background of this membranous staining remains elusive. It is unlikely to represent an artefact. At least partial sharing of an epitope of the nuclear Ki-67 protein with an unidentified membranous protein and some functional differences between membranous staining producing tumours and tumours lacking this pattern of staining may both contribute to some extent.
KeywordsBreast cancer Ki-67 MIB-1 Membranous staining Immunohistochemistry HER2
The author of the manuscript made substantial contributions to the following:
- the conception/design of the work; the acquisition, analysis, interpretation of data for the work;
- drafting the work and/or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
- final approval of the version submitted for publication; and
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The author has consulted the journal policy regarding compliance with ethical standards and state that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed. The author includes information regarding sources of funding and potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial) (next section). Ethical approval and informed consent-related information (waiver for this particular study) are summarised in the final paragraph of the “Materials and methods” section. The study did not include animals; therefore, issues relating to animal welfare do not apply.
Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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