The GATA3 gene is a potential tumour marker and putative tumour suppressor gene in breast cancer. Its expression is associated with better prognosis and disease free survival in breast cancer patients. We aimed to evaluate GATA3 transcriptome expression and mutation in breast carcinomas and correlate its expression with oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), lymph node (LN) status, tumour grade and c-erbB-2 expression. Twenty-two breast infiltrating ductal carcinomas and paired normal tissues were used in Branch DNA assay to detect GATA3 mRNA expression. Normalized data for GATA3 mRNA expression were grouped according to the ER, PR and LN status, tumour grade and c-erbB-2 expression of the tumours. Statistical significance was tested using t-test and ANOVA at 95% confidence interval level. Mutational analysis of GATA3 was performed by direct sequencing of the coding regions of GATA3 mRNA. Our findings showed that GATA3 gene were over-expressed and under-expressed by > 2 fold change in 12 and 4 tested samples, respectively. Eighty per cent of ER positive breast carcinomas were GATA3 positive. There was a statistically significant correlation between GATA3 expression and ER at 95% confidence interval level between the study groups. On the contrary, GATA3 expression was not statistically significant with PR, LN, tumour grade and c-erbB-2 expression in our study. In addition, we observed that there was no mutation in mRNA coding region in 16 breast carcinomas that showed GATA3 differential gene expression. Our preliminary results suggested that GATA3 is linked to the ER. This scenario suggests that GATA3 may play a crucial role in oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients. Whether GATA3 expression is involved in regulating tumour cell growth in oestrogen responsive breast cancer is a key question that remains to be answered.
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