In breast cancer, the prognosis of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive patients (20-25%) has been dramatically improved by the clinical application of the anti-HER2 antibody drugs trastuzumab and pertuzumab. However, the clinical outcomes of HER2-negative cases with a poor prognosis have not improved, and novel therapeutic antibody drugs or diagnostic molecular markers of prognosis are urgently needed. Here, we targeted protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) as a new biomarker for HER2-negative patients. The developed anti-PAR1 antibody inhibited PAR1 activation by matrix metalloprotease 1 and thereby prevented cancer-cell migration and invasion. To estimate PAR1 expression levels in HER2-negative patient tissues using the antibody, user-friendly immunohistochemistry with fluorescence nanoparticles or quantum dots (QDs) was developed. Previously, immunohistochemistry with QDs was affected by tissue autofluorescence, making quantitative measurement extremely difficult. We significantly improved the quantitative sensitivity of immunohistochemistry with QDs by using an autofluorescence-subtracted image and single-QD imaging. The immunohistochemistry showed that PAR1 expression was strongly correlated with relapse-free survival time in HER2-negative breast cancer patients. Therefore, the developed anti-PAR1 antibody is a strong candidate for use as an anticancer drug and a prognostic biomarker for HER2-negative patients.
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