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ADA3 regulates normal and tumor mammary epithelial cell proliferation through c-MYC

Griffin, Nicolas I.; Sharma, Gayatri; Zhao, Xiangshan; Mirza, Sameer; Srivastava, Shashank; Dave, Bhavana J.; Aleskandarany, Mohammed; Rakha, Emad; Mohibi, Shakur; Band, Hamid; Band, Vimla


Nicolas I. Griffin

Gayatri Sharma

Xiangshan Zhao

Sameer Mirza

Shashank Srivastava

Bhavana J. Dave

Mohammed Aleskandarany

Professor of Breast Cancer Pathology

Shakur Mohibi

Hamid Band

Vimla Band


Background: We have established the critical role of ADA3 as a coactivator of estrogen receptor (ER), as well as its role in cell cycle progression. Furthermore, we showed that ADA3 is predominantly nuclear in mammary epithelium, and in ER+, but is cytoplasmic in ER- breast cancers, the latter correlating with poor survival. However, the role of nuclear ADA3 in human mammary epithelial cells (hMECs), and in ER+ breast cancer cells, as well as the importance of ADA3 expression in relation to patient prognosis and survival in ER+ breast cancer have remained uncharacterized.

Methods: We overexpressed ADA3 in hMECs or in ER+ breast cancer cells and assessed the effect on cell proliferation. The expression of ADA3 was analyzed then correlated with the expression of various prognostic markers, as well as survival of breast cancer patients.

Results: Overexpression of ADA3 in ER- hMECs as well as in ER+ breast cancer cell lines enhanced cell proliferation. These cells showed increased cyclin B and c-MYC, decreased p27 and increased SKP2 levels. This was accompanied by increased mRNA levels of early response genes c-FOS, EGR1, and c-MYC. Analysis of breast cancer tissue specimens showed a significant correlation of ADA3 nuclear expression with c-MYC expression. Furthermore, nuclear ADA3 and
c-MYC expression together showed significant correlation with tumor grade, mitosis, pleomorphism, NPI, ER/PR status, Ki67 and p27 expression. Importantly, within ER+ cases, expression of nuclear ADA3 and c-MYC also significantly correlated with Ki67 and p27 expression. Univariate Kaplan Meier analysis of four groups in the whole, as well as the ER+ patients showed that c-MYC and ADA3 combinatorial phenotypes showed significantly different breast cancer specific survival with c-MYC-high and ADA3-Low subgroup had the worst outcome. Using multivariate analyses within the whole cohort and the ER+ subgroups, the significant association of ADA3 and c-MYC expression with patients’ outcome was independent of tumor grade, stage and size, and ER status.

Conclusion: ADA3 overexpression enhances cell proliferation that is associated with increased expression of c-MYC. Expression patterns with respect to ADA3/c-MYC can divide patients into four significantly different subgroups, with c-MYC High and ADA3 Low status independently predicting poor survival in patients.


Griffin, N. I., Sharma, G., Zhao, X., Mirza, S., Srivastava, S., Dave, B. J., …Band, V. (2016). ADA3 regulates normal and tumor mammary epithelial cell proliferation through c-MYC. Breast Cancer Research, 18(1), 1-15.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 16, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 3, 2018
Journal Breast Cancer Research
Print ISSN 1465-5411
Electronic ISSN 1465-542X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Article Number 113
Pages 1-15
Public URL


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