PIK3CA-AKT pathway mutations in micropapillary breast carcinoma

Ellen Flatley, Daphne Ang, Andrea Warrick, Carol Beadling, Christopher L. Corless, Megan L. Troxell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Micropapillary carcinoma of the breast is associated with increased rates of lymph node metastasis and lymphovascular invasion. While activating point mutations in PIK3CA (encoding phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase catalytic subunit) or AKT1 are found in 25% to 30% of invasive ductal carcinomas, the mutational profile of invasive micropapillary carcinomas has not been characterized in detail. Micropapillary carcinomas, concurrent metastatic and precursor breast lesions from 19 patients were identified. Lesional tissue was punched from paraffin-tissue blocks, and genomic DNA was extracted and screened for a large panel of known hotspot mutations using multiplex polymerase chain reaction and mass-spectroscopy analysis (643 mutations in 53 genes). Hotspot point mutations were identified in 35% (7/20) of micropapillary breast carcinomas, including PIK3CA exons 7, 9 and 20 hotspots, as well as the AKT1 plekstrin homology domain mutation (E17K); mutations in TP53 and KRAS were each found in a single patient. In 6 patients, micropapillary and non-micropapillary components of the same tumor were separately tested, yielding concordant results in five; one had a wild type micropapillary component, but a PIK3CA mutation in the invasive ductal component. Concurrent lymph node metastases were mostly wild type (2/8 mutant). Accompanying ductal carcinoma in situ had point mutations in 45% (5/11), mostly concordant with invasive carcinoma; however, mutational status of other breast proliferative lesions was generally discordant with accompanying carcinoma. The rate of PIK3CA mutations in this series of micropapillary carcinomas is similar to invasive ductal carcinomas; however, there may be an enrichment of AKT1 mutations (10%). The non-micropapillary components and precursor lesions occasionally had different mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1327
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • AKT1
  • Breast carcinoma
  • KRAS
  • Micropapillary carcinoma
  • PIK3CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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