BACKGROUNDSATB1 has been previously proposed as a key protein that controls the development and progression of breast cancer. We explored the potential of the SATB1 protein as a therapeutic target and prognostic marker for human breast cancer.METHODSWe used aggressive (MDA-MB-231 and BT549) and nonaggressive (SKBR3 and MCF7) breast cancer cell lines to investigate the potential of SATB1 as a therapeutic target. SATB1 mRNA expression was silenced in aggressive cells by use of short hairpin RNAs against SATB1. SATB1 was overexpressed in nonaggressive cells by use of SATB1 expression vectors. We assessed the effect of modifying SATB1 expression on the transformed phenotype by examining anchorage-independent cell proliferation, acinar morphology on matrigel, and migration by wound healing in cultured cells. We examined tumor formation and metastasis, respectively, by use of orthotopic mammary fat pad and tail vein xenograft mouse models (mice were used in groups of six, and in total, 96 mice were used). SATB1 mRNA expression was compared with outcome for patients with primary breast cancer from six previous microarray studies that included a total of 1170 patients. All statistical tests were two-sided.RESULTSThe transformed phenotype was not suppressed by SATB1 silencing in aggressive cells and was not enhanced by ectopic expression of SATB1 in nonaggressive cells. Modifying SATB1 expression did not alter anchorage-independent cell proliferation, invasive acinar morphology, or cell migration in cultured cells and did not affect tumor formation or metastasis in xenograft mouse models. In addition, SATB1 expression was not associated with decreased overall survival of patients with primary breast cancer in six previous independent microarray studies (overall odds ratio = 0.80, 95% confidence interval = 0.62 to 1.03, P = .10).CONCLUSIONIn contrast to previous studies, we found that SATB1 expression did not promote breast cancer progression and was not associated with breast cancer outcome.