TIMAP Upregulation Correlates Negatively with Survival in HER2- Negative Subtypes of Breast Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

2 Department of Applied Biology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

3 Department of Pathology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.


Objective: TIMAP expression is regulated by transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1); known for its role in breast cancer development and metastasis. Nevertheless, data on TIMAP protein expression and its association with breast cancer development are lacking. In this study, we aimed to investigate the variation in TIMAP protein expression in breast cancer tissue and its correlation with various clinicopathological characteristics of breast cancer patients and overall survival rate. Methods: A total of 159 paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from women diagnosed with four breast cancer subtypes (49 HER2-only, 33 Luminal A, 39 Luminal B, and 38 triple negative) were used to construct tissue microarray (TMA), followed by TIMAP immunohistochemistry (IHC). TIMAP expression was scored by two pathologists and categorized as weak (1-33% expression), moderate (34-66%), and strong (67-100%). Chi-square test and Kaplan Meier survival test were performed to determine the association between TIMAP expression and clinicopathological features and overall survival rate, respectively. Results: TIMAP protein was strongly expressed in 46 (93.9%) HER2-only, 32 (97%) luminal A, 37 (94.9%) luminal B, and 29 (76.3%) triple negative. TIMAP expression negatively associated with ER/PR expression (P=0.03), and it negatively impacted the overall survival in HER2 negative group (P=0.02). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that TIMAP protein expression is upregulated in all breast cancer subtypes. However, its prognostic role is exclusively observed in HER2- negative group, suggesting a potential of targeting TIMAP in future therapeutic strategies in this group.


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