Journal Article
. 2012 Dec; 44(6):959-65.
doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2012.09.005.

Neural crest transcription factor Sox10 is preferentially expressed in triple-negative and metaplastic breast carcinomas

Ashley Cimino-Mathews 1 Andrea P Subhawong  Hillary Elwood  Hind Nassar Warzecha  Rajni Sharma  Ben Ho Park  Janis M Taube  Peter B Illei  Pedram Argani  
  • PMID: 23260325
  •     28 References
  •     49 citations


The transcription factor Sox10 mediates the differentiation of neural crest-derived cells, and Sox10 labeling by immunohistochemistry (IHC) is used clinically primarily to support the diagnosis of melanoma. Sox10 expression by IHC has been previously documented in benign breast myoepithelial cells but not in breast carcinomas. Here, we report the first systematic study of Sox10 expression in invasive ductal carcinomas subclassified by IHC-defined molecular subtype (100 cases), as well as in 24 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ and 44 mammary fibroepithelial neoplasms. Tissue microarrays containing 168 primary breast tumors were subjected to IHC for Sox10. The extent of nuclear Sox10 labeling was scored by percentage labeling as follows: 0 (0%), 1+ (1%-25%), 2+ (25%-50%), 3+ (50%-75%), and 4+ (>75%). Overall, 40 (40%) of 100 invasive breast carcinomas demonstrated Sox10 immunoreactivity, which was seen primarily in the basal-like, unclassified triple-negative, and metaplastic carcinomas. Sox10 labeling was seen in 66% (38/58) of the basal-like, unclassified triple-negative, and metaplastic carcinomas as compared with 5% (2/42) of the luminal A, luminal B, and Her-2 carcinomas (P < .00001). Sox10 labeling was seen in 1 (4%) of 24 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ, which was negative for estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor. No labeling was seen in the stromal component of phyllodes tumors or fibroadenomas. These findings show that breast carcinoma must be considered in the differential diagnosis of melanoma for an S100-positive, Sox10-positive metastatic malignant neoplasm. Sox10 expression in the basal-like, unclassified triple-negative, and metaplastic carcinomas types supports the concept that these neoplasms show myoepithelial differentiation.

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