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The Korean Journal of Pathology 2000;34(4): 264-272.
Correlation of Expression of E-Cadherin, alpha-Catenin, beta-Catenin, and Clinicopathologic Parameters in Colorectal Adenocarcinomas.
Hyoung Joong Kim, Tae Jin Lee, Eon Sub Park, Jae Hyung Yoo
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 100-272, Korea.
The E-cadherin, alpha-catenin, and beta-catenin expressions were immunohistochemically investigated in paraffin-embedded materials of 80 cases of colorectal adenocarcinomas. The staining similar to normal colorectal mucosa with preserved strong membranous staining pattern was considered normal or preserved expression. The X2 test was used to analyse the statistical correlation of cadherin/catenin expression with clinicopathologic parameters and the Breslow test for the correlation with survival length. Normal colorectal mucosa showed strong membranous expression of cadherin/catenin complex. The reduced E-cadherin, alpha-catenin, and beta-catenin expression were found in 53/80 (66.3%), 46/80 (57.5%), and 44/80 (55.5%) cases of colorectal cancers examined, respectively. There were significant correlations between E- cadherin and alpha -catenin (p=0.035), and between alpha-catenin and beta-catenin (p=0.013). The reduced E-cadherin expression was associated with histologic dedifferentiation, tumor depth, lymph node metastasis, clinical stage (p<0.05), poor clinical outcome in stage II (p=0.016) and the reduced alpha-catenin expression with lymph node metastasis and clinical stage (p<0.05). Reduced expression of two or more proteins was correlated with lymph node matastasis, histologic dedifferentiation, clinical stage, and survival (p<0.05). The present study demonstrates a significant down-regulation of E-cadherin and alpha-catenin expression in colorectal cancer is associated with tumor invasiveness, histologic dedifferentiation, lymph node metastasis, and clinical stage. These results suggest that E-cadherin and alpha-catenin may be useful markers of invasiveness, lymph node metastatic potential, and clinical stage and of value as prognostic markers in the earlier stage. Further studies are needed to confirm the prognostic value of these cadherin/catenin complex.
Key Words: E-cadherin; alpha-catenin; beta-catenin; Colorectal adenocarcinoma; Clinicopathologic parameters