Document Type : Original article
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Department of Nutrition, Shool of Medicine, Abadan University of Medical Science, Abadan, Iran
Department of Biochemistry, Shool of Medicine, Abadan University of Medical Science, Abadan, Iran
Department of surgical oncology, Cancer institute, Tehran University of Medical Science
Asadabad School of Medical Sciences, Asadabad, Iran
Department of Physiology, Shool of Medicine, Abadan University of Medical Science, Abadan, Iran
Autophagy is a cellular process that plays a major role in the fate of tumor cells. Understanding the role of autophagy in cancer therapy is a major challenge, particularly for breast cancer as the sole top cause of mortality among women. In this study, we evaluated the gene expression of mTOR and Beclin1 and the levels of p62 protein, in breast tumors and compared them to a control condition. To explore the role of autophagy in breast cancer, we acquired tumor biopsies from 41 new cases of breast cancer patients. We extracted total RNA from each biopsy and used real-time PCR to quantify Beclin1 and mTOR-specific RNA expression. In addition, we evaluated the expression of the p62 protein in paraffin-embedded tumor tissue using the immunohistochemistry technique. The data revealed an upregulation of Beclin1 and a downregulation of mTOR in tumor tissues compared to the control condition. The correlation between p62 expression and Beclin1/mTOR showed a negative and positive correlation, respectively, confirming autophagy activation in the tumor tissues. However, there was no correlation between autophagy markers and tumor size, grade and stage. The findings revealed that autophagy activation was found in breast tumor tissues, suggesting that autophagy can be a target for breast cancer therapy.