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ERK1/2 is related to oestrogen receptor and predicts outcome in hormone-treated breast cancer

Jerjees, Dena A.; Alabdullah, M.; Alkaabi, Methaq; Abduljabbar, Rezvan; Muftah, Abir; Nolan, Chris; Green, Andrew R.; Ellis, Ian O.; Rakha, Emad A.


Dena A. Jerjees

M. Alabdullah

Methaq Alkaabi

Rezvan Abduljabbar

Abir Muftah

Chris Nolan

Professor of Breast Cancer Pathology


The extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 is one of the members of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). MAPKs are transduction proteins that play a role in controlling diverse cellular functions including proliferation and survival. In breast cancer (BC), MAPKs are involved in oestrogen receptor (ER) and HER2 pathways. This study aims to assess the biological and clinical significance of ERK1/2 protein expression in BC. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the expression of both total (ERK1/2) and phospholyated (p ERK1/2) ERK1/2 proteins in a large and well-characterised series of early stage BC (n = 1300) using tissue microarray technology. ERK1/2 expression was cytoplasmic, while p-ERK1/2 was observed in the nucleus (N-p-ERK1/2) and/or cytoplasm (C-p-ERK1/2). Both ERK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 were positiviely associated with markers of good prognosis including smaller size, lower grade, expression of hormone receptor and ER-related proteins and negatively associated with HER2, HER4, KI67 and p53. Outcome analysis showed an association between N-p-ERK1/2 and better outcome. In tamoxifen-treated cases, ERK1/2 expression was an independent prognostic marker of longer survival. ERK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 were associated with good prognosis. Importantly, positivity of ERK1/2 is independently associated with better outcome in tamoxifen-treated cases.


Jerjees, D. A., Alabdullah, M., Alkaabi, M., Abduljabbar, R., Muftah, A., Nolan, C., …Rakha, E. A. (2014). ERK1/2 is related to oestrogen receptor and predicts outcome in hormone-treated breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 147(1), 25-37.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 2, 2014
Publication Date 2014-08
Deposit Date Oct 17, 2018
Journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Print ISSN 0167-6806
Electronic ISSN 1573-7217
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 147
Issue 1
Pages 25-37
Public URL
Publisher URL