Nuclear localization of beta-catenin is an important prognostic factor in hepatoblastoma

J Pathol. 2001 Apr;193(4):483-90. doi: 10.1002/1096-9896(2000)9999:9999<::aid-path804>;2-r.


In this study, mutational and immunohistochemical analyses of beta-catenin were performed in 30 hepatoblastomas, to assess the prevalence of alterations of the Wnt pathway with respect to clinicopathological parameters and survival. Four missense mutations of beta-catenin (13.3%) were detected and there was strong immunoreactivity for beta-catenin in the cytoplasm and/or the nucleus in 97% of hepatoblastomas. Nuclear and cytoplasmic staining was demonstrated in 19 of 30 tumours (63%), while ten revealed only cytoplasmic staining. Statistically, this nuclear beta-catenin staining was significantly higher in the embryonal (Fisher exact test; p=0.00393) or undifferentiated type (p=0.00156) of hepatoblastoma than in the fetal type, but there was no difference between clinical stages I and II and clinical stages III and IV (p=0.175). Cumulative survival curves showed that nuclear beta-catenin staining (generalized Wilcoxon test; p=0.0088), undifferentiated histological type (p=0.0305), and clinical stages III and IV (p=0.0107) were significantly correlated with shorter survival time in these patients. Moreover, Cox multivariate analysis provides evidence that nuclear beta-catenin staining is the most important prognostic factor for survival (p=0.0090). It is therefore concluded that immunohistochemical analysis of beta-catenin might be a useful clinical tool for estimating the prognosis for patients with hepatoblastoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genes, APC
  • Hepatoblastoma / genetics
  • Hepatoblastoma / metabolism*
  • Hepatoblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Trans-Activators*
  • beta Catenin


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin