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E-cadherin is crucial to the intercellular adherens junctions which are involved in the organisation and maintenance of epithelial structure and suppression of tumour invasion. E-cadherin is associated with the actin cytoskeleton via cytoplasmic proteins, including alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenins, which together form the cadherin/catenin complex. To evaluate changes of the molecules of the cadherin/catenin complex in colorectal carcinogenesis, seventy-four sporadic adenomas, samples of histologically normal epithelium adjacent to 65 adenomas, and 52 carcinomas arising in adenomas were investigated by immunohistochemistry. All normal epithelial cells showed a uniform membranous staining pattern for E-cadherin, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin. Decreased expression of all 4 proteins occurred in parallel in adenomas and carcinomas (in all cases, p < 10(-5). Decreased expression of the cadherin/catenin complex in adenomas was associated with increasing severity of dysplasia (p < 0.001, for E-cadherin, alpha-, and gamma-catenin, p < 0.005 for beta-catenin). Carcinomas displayed significantly reduced expression of the cadherin/catenin complex compared with their associated adenomas (all p < 0.001). The results directly confirm that colorectal tumour progression and invasion is associated with disruption of the cadherin/catenin complex and suggest that the genetic changes and transcriptional modulation of catenins underlying this progression may affect all members of the complex.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Anticancer Res

Publication Date

05/1997

Volume

17

Pages

2241 - 2247

Keywords

Adenoma, Cadherins, Carcinoma, Colorectal Neoplasms, Cytoskeletal Proteins, Desmoplakins, Disease Progression, Gene Expression, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Retrospective Studies, Trans-Activators, alpha Catenin, beta Catenin, gamma Catenin