Expression of HER-2 and nuclear localization of HER-3 protein in canine mammary tumors: Histopathological and immunohistochemical study

J. H. Kim, K. S. Im, N. H. Kim, J. Y. Yhee, W. G. Nho, J. H. Sur

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HER-2 and HER-3 are transmembrane receptor proteins that are considered to be important but poorly understood biomarkers in canine tumors. In this study, the expression and the localization of HER-2 and HER-3 were evaluated immunohistochemically in canine mammary tumors (n= 64; 12 benign, 52 malignant).HER-2 overexpression was identified in 2/12 (16.7%) benign and in 18/51 (35.3%) malignant cases. HER-3 was expressed in a non-nuclear localization in 11/12 (91.7%) benign and 18/52 (34.6%) malignant tumors. In contrast, HER-3 was expressed in the nucleus of neoplastic cells in 0/12 (0%) benign and 22/52 (42.3%) malignant tumors. Nuclear HER-3 expression was higher in neoplastic epithelial cells compared to myoepithelial cells, and positively correlated with high histological grade and lymphatic vessel invasion. These results suggest that nuclear HER-3 expression is significantly associated with tumor progression and metastasis and may serve as a useful prognostic biomarker in canine malignant mammary tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Dog
  • HER-3
  • Mammary tumors
  • Nuclear protein
  • Prognostic factor

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