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1.  Reversed Expression of the JAK/STAT Pathway Related Proteins Prolactin Receptor and STAT5a in Normal and Abnormal Breast Epithelial Cells 
The JAK/STAT pathway is important for cellular metabolism. One component, STAT5a, is activated in the breast upon prolactin to prolactin receptor (PRLR) binding facilitating the transcription of genes involved in lobule development. STAT5a was previously found to be expressed in most normal breast epithelial cells but not in many in situ or invasive carcinomas except secretory carcinomas which retain STAT5a expression. This report examines the JAK/STAT pathway in the breast through the detection of PRLR and STAT5a. Fifty breast tissues, including benign secretory change, microglandular adenosis, usual and atypical hyperplasia and in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma both usual and secretory, were obtained from the files of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Sections were immunostained with antibodies to PRLR and STAT5a. PRLR was minimally detected on the surface of a few normal breast epithelial cells whereas STAT5a was greatly expressed in over 80% of normal cell nuclei. PRLR was also minimally detected in secretory carcinomas expressing STAT5a. However, the opposite pattern was seen in breast carcinomas lacking STAT5a expression. PRLR was abundantly expressed in these cells. This reversed expression may indicate a JAK/STAT pathway disturbance that could play a role in the initiation or maintenance of an abnormal breast phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3091403  PMID: 21655368
STAT5a; prolactin receptor; immunohistochemistry; breast; secretory

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