Immunohistochemical evaluation of ROCK activation in invasive breast cancer

Chih Yi Hsu, Zee Fen Chang, Hsiao Hui Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Two isoforms of Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK), ROCKI and ROCKII, play an important role in many cellular processes. Despite the accumulating evidence showing that ROCK could be a potential cancer therapeutic target, the relevant tumor types to ROCK activation are not well clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ROCK activation status in different tumor types of breast cancer. Results: We evaluated the immunoreactivities of phosphorylation-specific antibodies of ROCKI and ROCKII to inform their kinase activation in 275 of breast carcinoma tissues, including 56 of carcinoma in situ, 116 of invasive carcinoma, and 103 of invasive carcinoma with metastasis. ROCKII activation signal detected in nucleus was significantly correlated with tumor metastasis, while ROCKI and cytosolic ROCKII activation signals made no significant difference in that metastasis. Furthermore, nuclear ROCKII activation signal was associated with poor clinical outcome and correlated with late tumor stage, low expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR), overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and high Ki67 labeling index. Conclusions: Nuclear ROCKII activation signal might contribute to the tumor metastasis in breast cancer. Differences in ROCK activation that underlie the phenotypes of breast cancer could enhance our understanding for the use of ROCK inhibitors in cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number943
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 12 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Hsu et al.


  • Estrogen Receptor
  • HER2
  • Metastasis
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Rho-kinase


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