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Immunohistochemical evaluation of PTEN, ZEB 1 and ZEB 2 proteins as biomarkers in breast cancer in female dog

Grant number: 21/00857-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Pathology
Principal researcher:Debora Aparecida Pires de Campos Zuccari
Grantee:Mylena Mitie Saito
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de São José do Rio Preto (FAMERP). Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico (São Paulo - Estado). São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


Malignant neoplasms of spontaneous occurrence in the canine species are considered an adequate model for the study of biological and therapeutic concepts of cancer in the human species. Breast neoplasms are the main cause of cancer in bitches, with the highest occurrence in middle-aged to elderly females, not castrated, without racial predisposition, being the main cause of cancer death, since, in most cases, the diagnosis it is late and the tumors tend to generate lung metastases. The PI3K / AKT pathway is an important intracellular signaling pathway involved in functions such as growth, proliferation, survival and angiogenesis, which is very active in cancer. Despite the complex and multifactorial nature of breast cancer, three proteins related to this pathway have stood out as biomarkers: PTEN, ZEB 1 and ZEB 2. PTEN has a suppressive action on the activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mutations in this gene are present in breast cancer. Transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2, activated in this pathway and involved in cell differentiation, have been related to malignant progression and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), in which neoplastic cells acquire invasive properties, characterizing a prognosis reserved for cancer bitches breast. Genetic changes in these potential markers are frequent in cancer and the inhibition of this pathway (PI3K / AKT) may be related to the prevention and therapy of these neoplasms. Thus, the objective of this work is to verify the expression of PTEN, ZEB 1 and ZEB 2 proteins of the PI3K / AKT pathway, as biomarkers of breast cancer. Thus, this study aims to promote strategies for early and accurate diagnosis, aiming at a significant decrease in the morbidity and mortality of this disease.

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