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J Breast Cancer. 2016 Jun;19(2):99-111. English. Review. https://doi.org/10.4048/jbc.2016.19.2.99
Margan MM , Jitariu AA , Cimpean AM , Nica C , Raica M .
Department XII-Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neonatology and Perinatal Care, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania.
Department of Microscopic Morphology/Histology, Angiogenesis Research Center, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania. ancacimpean1972@yahoo.com
Department of Surgery, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania.
Abstract

Normal human breast tissue consists of epithelial and nonepithelial cells with different molecular profiles and differentiation grades. This molecular heterogeneity is known to yield abnormal clones that may contribute to the development of breast carcinomas. Stem cells that are found in developing and mature breast tissue are either positive or negative for cytokeratin 19 depending on their subtype. These cells are able to generate carcinogenesis along with mature cells. However, scientific data remains controversial regarding the monoclonal or polyclonal origin of breast carcinomas. The majority of breast carcinomas originate from epithelial cells that normally express BRCA1. The consecutive loss of the BRCA1 gene leads to various abnormalities in epithelial cells. Normal breast epithelial cells also express hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) 1α and HIF-2α that are associated with a high metastatic rate and a poor prognosis for malignant lesions. The nuclear expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) in normal human breast tissue is maintained in malignant tissue as well. Several controversies regarding the ability of ER and PR status to predict breast cancer outcome remain. Both ER and PR act as modulators of cell activity in normal human breast tissue. Ki-67 positivity is strongly correlated with tumor grade although its specific role in applied therapy requires further studies. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) oncoprotein is less expressed in normal human breast specimens but is highly expressed in certain malignant lesions of the breast. Unlike HER2, epidermal growth factor receptor expression is similar in both normal and malignant tissues. Molecular heterogeneity is not only found in breast carcinomas but also in normal breast tissue. Therefore, the molecular mapping of normal human breast tissue might represent a key research area to fully elucidate the mechanisms of breast carcinogenesis.

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