Development and validation of Ran as a prognostic marker in stage I and stage II primary breast cancer

Mohamed El-Tanani, Angela Platt-Higgins, Hamdi Nsairat, Ismail I Matalka, Khaled Abdul-Aziz Ahmed, Shu-Dong Zhang, Walhan Alshaer, Abdalla Awidi, Kyle B Matchett, Alaa A Aljabali, Vijay Mishra, Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Murtaza M Tambuwala, Philip S Rudland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Existing prognostic biomarkers are inadequate for stratifying breast cancer patients with the highest risk of tumor progression at the time of diagnosis. Here, we demonstrate that the small GTPase Ran has predictive value for breast cancer (BC) patients as a whole, and for specific BC subtypes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Ran expression was quantified by immunohistochemistry in 263 patients with primary breast cancer diagnosed at the Breast Unit, Royal Liverpool Hospital. Additionally as an independent validation, we also analyzed the mRNA expressions of Ran, ER, PR, and Cerb-2, the triple-negative endocrine receptors, and their associations with patient survival in a combined patient cohorts of multiple public datasets (n = 1079). We analyzed the data with Spearman's rank correlation and Kaplan-Meier plots coupled with Wilcoxon-Gehan tests, respectively. All statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: Ran nuclear, cytoplasmic, and total staining are substantially associated with poor survival, independent of conventional prognostic markers such as estrogen receptor (ER), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and lymph node status. According to the datasets, Ran was significantly correlated with distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and relapse-free survival (RFS).

CONCLUSION: We found that Ran expression is a unique predictive biomarker for patient survival, metastasis, and tumor relapse. This biomarker could be used for diagnostic purposes, using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor biopsy samples from breast cancer patients in the early stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121964
Pages (from-to)121964
JournalLife Sciences
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnostic
  • RAN
  • HER2
  • Immuno histology
  • Estrogen receptor


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