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Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 is associated with the effect of claudin-6 in breast cancer

Yaxiong Guo1, Xiaoming Xu2, Zhijing Liu1, Ting Zhang1, Xiaowei Zhang1, Liping Wang1, Min Wang1, Yuanyuan Liu1, Yan Lu1, Yunpeng Liu3 and Chengshi Quan1*

Author Affiliations

1 The Key Laboratory of Pathobiology, Ministry of Education, Beyuthune Medical College, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

2 Department of Pathology, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

3 Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Bethune Hospital of Jilin University, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:111  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-111

Published: 27 August 2012



Previous studies have demonstrated that claudin-6 functions as a cancer suppressor in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The growth inhibitory effect could be attributed to inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. The purpose of the current study was to examine the involvement of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) in the anticancer effect of claudin-6.


Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to evaluate the ASK1 protein expression and the correlation between ASK1, claudin-6 and clinicopathological features in 85 samples of breast invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC). Western blotting and RT-PCR was carried out to examine the expression of ASK1 and claudin-6 in MCF-7 cell clones transfected with claudin-6.


Immunohistochemical analysis showed that ASK1 expression was significantly related with that of claudin-6 in breast invasive ductal carcinomas (P < 0.05). In addition, a positive correlation between ASK1 and C-erb B 2 protein expression was identified (P < 0.05). Western blotting and RT-PCR consistently revealed that the level of ASK1 protein and mRNA was upregulated in MCF-7 cell clones transfected with claudin-6.


Our data suggests, for the first time, that the ASK1 signal may play a positive role in the inhibitory effect of claudin-6 in breast cancer.

Virtual Slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: webcite

Breast invasive ductal carcinomas; ASK1; Apoptosis; Tight junction