Expression of E-, P-, n-cadherins and catenins in human bladder carcinoma cell lines

J Urol. 2000 Sep;164(3 Pt 1):826-35. doi: 10.1097/00005392-200009010-00057.


Purpose: Cadherins are cell surface glycoproteins that mediate Ca2+-dependent, homophilic cell-cell adhesion. The classical cadherins, E-, P- and N-cadherins, are known to self-associate from their extracellular domain, while their cytoplasmic domain interacts with either beta-catenin or plakoglobin (gamma-catenin), which in turn is bound to alpha-catenin that links the complex to the actin cytoskeleton. The aim of the present study was to analyze the expression of E-, P- and N-cadherins and catenins in human bladder carcinoma cells.

Materials and methods: Five human bladder carcinoma cell lines, representing a variety of differentiation states, were grown in cell culture. We performed a cell aggregation assay, specific for biological cadherin activity. The expression of cadherins and catenins was analyzed by immunocytochemistry, Western blotting and RT-PCR. The interactions between cadherins and catenins were assessed by immunoprecipitation.

Results: We observed a reduced E-cadherin expression in the poorly differentiated and invasive-tumor derived cells. Interestingly, immunofluorescence study reveals the persistent localization of catenins at intercellular contacts in two E-cadherin deficient cell lines (T24 and TCCSUP) which yet exhibit an epithelial-like morphology and a calcium-dependent adhesive capacity. This suggests that other cadherin(s) are expressed in these both cell lines. P-cadherin, another epithelial cadherin, is expressed only in E-cadherin positive cells. On the other hand, N-cadherin is present at cell-cell borders in the very anaplastic cell lines, T24 and TCCSUP, and is able to link beta-catenin or plakoglobin.

Conclusion: These results indicate that N-cadherin may participate in intercellular adhesion, while facilitating bladder tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics
  • Anaplasia
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Desmoplakins
  • Desmosomes / genetics
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intercellular Junctions / ultrastructure
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • gamma Catenin


  • Actins
  • CTNNA1 protein, human
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Desmoplakins
  • JUP protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • gamma Catenin