Poor prognosis of constitutive γ-H2AX expressing triple-negative breast cancers is associated with telomere length

Anika Nagelkerke, Simon J A van Kuijk, John W. M. Martens, Fred C G J Sweep, Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, Johan Bussink, Paul N Span*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: Here, we set out to establish whether endogenous γ-H2AX is a biomarker in triple-negative breast cancer.

METHODS: We explored the association of γ-H2AX with mutation status and sensitivity to 139 different anticancer drugs in up to 41 breast cancer cell lines. Further, we correlated γ-H2AX expression in breast cancer tumor tissues with telomere length.

RESULTS: γ-H2AX positive breast cancer cells exhibit more mutations, and - when p53 mutated - have shorter telomeres. In breast cancer patients γ-H2AX is also related to shorter telomeres, which was in turn associated with poorer prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer patients.

CONCLUSION: Thus, endogenous γ-H2AX is associated with short telomeres, which might offer a specific target for therapy for triple-negative breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-90
Number of pages8
JournalBiomarkers in medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA1 Protein/genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Histones/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Telomere/genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis

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