TAP1-TAP2 heterodimeric complexes are recognized as the transporter associated with antigen processing of major histocompatibility complex class I peptides for recognition by tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In this study, we investigated the immunohistochemical expression of TAP1 and TAP2 in 160 patients with breast cancer and correlated their expression levels with clinicopathologic parameters. The median age of the patient cohort was 52.5 years (range, 30–86 years). Both TAP1 and TAP2 immunohistochemical expression levels correlated significantly with breast cancer characteristics (P < .001). TAP1 expression levels were low to negative in stage I breast tumors. TAP1 and TAP2 levels were significantly higher in grade 3 tumors than low-grade (grade 1 and 2) tumors. TAP1 and TAP2 expression levels were not significantly different among different levels of HER2-expressing tumors and did not vary by estrogen and progesterone receptor status or patient age. Both TAP1 and TAP2 overexpression in breast cancer might be an indicator of an aggressive breast tumor.
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