Human liver-specific organic anion transporter-2 (LST-2/OATP8/SLCO1B3) has been demonstrated to be expressed in various gastrointestinal carcinomas and also to play pivotal roles in the uptake of a wide variety of both endogenous and exogenous anionic compounds, including bile acids, conjugated steroids and hormones, into hepatocytes in the human liver. However, the biological significance of LST-2 in human carcinomas remains unknown. In the present study, we examined the expression of LST-2 in 102 cases of breast carcinoma using immunohistochemistry and correlated the findings with various clinicopathological parameters in order to examine the possible biological and clinical significance of LST-2. LST-2 immunoreactivity was detected in 51 cases (50.0%); of these 51 positive cases, LST-2 immunoreactivity was inversely correlated with tumor size (P = 0.0289). In addition, LST-2 immunoreactivity was significantly associated with a decreased risk of recurrence and improved prognosis by both univariate (P = 0.02 and P = 0.01) and multivariate (P = 0.03 and P = 0.01) analyses. In the estrogen receptor-positive groups, the LST-2-positive patients showed good prognoses. Considering that LST-2 transports estrone-3-sulfate, these results suggest that LST-2 overexpression is associated with a hormone-dependent growth mechanism of the breast cancer. The results of our present study demonstrate that LST-2 immunoreactivity is a potent prognostic factor in human breast cancer.
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