Melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE) family members are generally described as tumor-specific antigens. An association between MAGE-D4B and breast cancer has yet to be reported and the functional role of the encoded protein has never been established. We performed microarray analysis of 104 invasive breast tumors and matched non-cancerous breast biopsies. qPCR was used for validation in an independent biobank. To investigate the biological relevance of MAGE-D4B in breast tumorigenesis, its phenotypic effects were assessed in vitro. Overall, MAGE-D4B was detected in 43% of tumors while undetected in normal breast tissue. MAGE-D4B was found to correlate with tumor progression and to be an independent prognostic marker for poor outcome in term of relapse-free and overall survival, with potential predictive relevance in relation to response to chemotherapy. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of MAGE-D4B significantly hampered the invasive properties of Hs578T cells by affecting anchorage-independent growth, adhesion, migration and invasion affecting anchorage-independent growth, adhesion, migration and invasion and by modulating expression of invasion-suppressor gene E-cadherin.
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