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Disease Markers
Volume 28 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 149-165

The Differential Expression of Aqueous Soluble Proteins in Breast Normal and Cancerous Tissues in Relation to Ethnicity of the Patients; Chinese, Malay and Indian

Seng Liang,1 Manjit Singh,2 and Lay-Harn Gam1

1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
2Department of Surgery, Penang General Hospital, Penang, Malaysia

Received 1 June 2010; Accepted 1 June 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Female breast cancer is one of the leading causes of female mortality worldwide. In Malaysia, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Of the women in Malaysia, the Chinese have the highest number of breast cancer cases, followed by the Indian and the Malay. The most common type of breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC). A proteomic approach was applied in this study to identify changes in the protein profile of cancerous tissues compared with normal tissues from 18 patients; 8 Chinese, 6 Malay and 4 Indian were analysed. Twenty-four differentially expressed hydrophilic proteins were identified. We evaluated the potential of these proteins as biomarkers for infiltrating ductal carcinoma based on their ethnic-specific expressions. Three of the upregulated proteins, calreticulin, 14-3-3 protein zeta and 14-3-3 protein eta, were found to be expressed at a significantly higher level in the cancerous breast tissues when compared with the normal tissues in cases of infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The upregulation in expression was particularly dominant in the Malay cohort.