FOXC1 is a potential prognostic biomarker with functional significance in basal-like breast cancer

Partha S. Ray, Jinhua Wang, Ying Qu, Myung Shin Sim, Jaime Shamonki, Sanjay P. Bagaria, Xing Ye, Bingya Liu, David Elashoff, Dave S. Hoon, Michael A. Walter, John W. Martens, Andrea L. Richardson, Armando E. Giuliano, Xiaojiang Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Gene expression signatures for a basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) subtype have been associated with poor clinical outcomes, but a molecular basis for this disease remains unclear. Here, we report overexpression of the transcription factor FOXC1 as a consistent feature of BLBC compared with other molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Elevated FOXC1 expression predicted poor overall survival in BLBC (P = 0.0001), independently of other clinicopathologic prognostic factors including lymph node status, along with a higher incidence of brain metastasis (P = 0.02) and a shorter brain metastasis-free survival in lymph node-negative patients (P < 0.0001). Ectopic overexpression of FOXC1 in breast cancer cells increased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, whereas shRNA-mediated FOXC1 knockdown yielded opposite effects. Our findings identify FOXC1 as a theranostic biomarker that is specific for BLBC, offering not only a potential prognostic candidate but also a potential molecular therapeutic target in this breast cancer subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3870-3876
Number of pages7
JournalCancer research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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