The cell cycle is promoted by activation of cyclin dependent kinases (Cdks), which are regulated positively by cyclins and negatively by Cdk inhibitors. Proliferation of carcinoma is associated with altered regulation of the cell cycle. Little is known on the combined alterations of cyclins A, B1, D1 and E in breast cancer in relation to the tumour grade and other prognostic factors.
Immunohistochemical analysis of cyclins A, B1, D1 and E, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, Ki-67, Her-2/neu and CK5/6 was performed on 53 breast carcinomas. mRNA levels of the cyclins were analysed of 12 samples by RT-PCR. The expression of cyclins A, B1 and E correlated with each other, while cyclin D1 correlated with none of these cyclins. Cyclins A, B1 and E showed association with tumour grade, Her-2/neu and Ki-67. Cyclin E had a negative correlation with hormone receptors and a positive correlation with triple negative carcinomas. Cyclin D1 had a positive correlation with ER, PR and non-basal breast carcinomas.
Cyclin A, B1 and E overexpression correlates to grade, Ki-67 and Her2/neu expression. Overexpression of cyclin D1 has a positive correlation with receptor status and non-basal carcinomas suggesting that cyclin D1 expression might be a marker of good prognosis. Combined analysis of cyclins indicates that cyclin A, B and E expression is similarly regulated, while other factors regulate cyclin D1 expression. The results suggest that the combined immunoreactivity of cyclins A, B1, D and E might be a useful prognostic factor in breast cancer.