YKL-40 expression could be a poor prognostic marker in the breast cancer tissue

Eun Joo Kang, Hoiseon Jung, Ok Hee Woo, Kyong Hwa Park, Sang Uk Woo, Dae Sik Yang, Ae Ree Kim, Jae Bok Lee, Yeul Hong Kim, Jun Suk Kim, Jae Hong Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


YKL-40 is a glycoprotein involved in cellular growth, migration, and the inflammatory process. Elevation in serum levels of YKL-40 has been associated with worse prognosis in various cancers, including breast cancer. Given that the clinical significance of YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissue is unclear, we aimed to determine the prognostic value of YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissue using immunohistochemistry. We performed tissue microarray (TMA) analysis of 425 breast cancer tissues collected during operation. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to measure expression of YKL-40 and several breast cancer biomarkers, such as aldehyde dehyadrogenase1, TGF-beta, and Gli-1 as well as hormonal receptor and Her-2/neu status. Statistical analysis of the relationship of YKL-40 expression with clinicopathological characteristics was performed for 390 TMA samples. YKL-40 was expressed to varying degrees in 84.9 % of breast cancer tissues. YKL-40 expression was correlated with estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor negativity and was positively correlated with TGF-beta and Gli-1 expression. Strong YKL-40 expression was associated with a larger proportion of Her-2/neu-enriched and basal-like tumors. The results of this study demonstrate that YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissues is associated with hormone receptor negativity and Her-2/neu-enriched molecular subtypes of breast cancer, and therefore could be considered a poor prognostic predictor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • Breast cancer
  • Prognostic marker
  • YKL-40

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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