Background: Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) constitute an enzyme family involved in the oxidative metabolism of a wide variety of endogenous and exogenous compounds, including anti-cancer drugs and carcinogens. Unlike other human CYPs, CYP4Z1 is highly expressed in human breast carcinoma and is associated with poor prognosis. As a result, CYP4Z1 was hypothesised to be a potential biomarker or drug target for the discovery and development of promising anti-cancer therapies.
Materials and methods: CYP4Z1 expression was immunohistochemically studied in a set of 100 different human tissues, including normal, benign, malignant and metastatic tissues, which originated from 27 anatomical sites. As a tumour model for CYP4Z1 expression, a panel of different breast cancers was evaluated for CYP4Z1 expression and its relation to histopathological features and prognostic immunohistochemical markers.
Results: The immunohistochemical results revealed that CYP4Z1 was expressed in only one (4.3%) of the normal tissues from the mammary glands, while the expression of the enzyme was positive in 1 (11%), 12 (19%) and 2 (40%) of the benign, malignant and metastatic tissues, respectively. Interestingly, several tumour entities showed prominent expressions of CYP4Z1, including carcinomas of adrenal cortex, squamous cells of oesophagus, lung and cervix, as well as seminoma, astrocytoma, melanoma and lastly endometrial adenocarcinoma. In breast cancers, CYP4Z1 was expressed in 82% of the cases. Its expression was significantly associated with the pathology of tumour, histological grade and status of lymph node metastasis. Importantly, it was also significantly associated with the expressions of Her2, P53 and Ki-67.
Conclusion: These findings greatly support future plans for the use of CYP4Z1 as a biomarker or target for anti-cancer drugs. However, large-scale validation studies are needed to better delineate the potential use of CYP4Z1 for therapeutic purposes.