Matricellular protein CCN1 (CYR61) expression is associated with high-grade ductal carcinoma in situ

Ozlen Saglam, Feng Dai, Seema Husain, Yilei Zhan, Gokce Toruner, G. Kenneth Haines

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14 Scopus citations


Cysteine-rich protein 61, connective tissue growth factor, and nephroblastoma overexpressed gene (CCN) comprise a family of matricellular proteins that have multiple physiologic functions including development, tissue repair, cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. The expression of CCN1, cyclin D1, β-catenin, and p53 was explored by immunohistochemistry in different grades of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) cases. These cases did not contain any infiltrating carcinoma components. In addition, all cysteine-rich protein 61 gene exons (encoding the CCN1 protein) were sequenced in 30 samples. Allred and H-scores were calculated for expression in both DCIS and the surrounding benign breast tissue. All cases of DCIS showed degrees of cytoplasmic CCN1 staining with median H-scores of 170, 160, and 60 in grades 3, 2, and 1, respectively (P =.043). Twelve of 28 DCIS 3, 1 of 15 DCIS 2, and 0 of 18 DCIS 1 also showed nuclear staining for CCN1. The cytoplasmic staining difference was preserved when the cases were divided into estrogen receptor (ER)+/DCIS grade 1, ER+/DCIS 2 and 3, and ER-/DCIS 2 and 3 by the H-score (P =.037). Cyclin D1 expression was positively correlated with the CCN1 cytoplasmic H-score in all DCIS samples (P =.038). Membranous β-catenin expression correlated with the grade of intraepithelial carcinoma by both H-score (P =.047) and Allred score (P =.026). Our results suggest that CCN1 has a role in the development of intraepithelial carcinoma. CCN1 expression correlates with grade of DCIS independent of ER status. It can induce cell cycle progression through cyclin D1. It is warranted to study high expression of CCN1 in DCIS as an independent risk factor in a larger cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1275
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CCN1
  • Cyclin D1
  • DCIS
  • β-catenin


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