Expression of beta-catenin and E-cadherin in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence of the stomach

Anticancer Res. May-Jun 2003;23(3C):2863-8.


beta-catenin plays an important role in the Wnt signaling pathway and the E-cadherin-catenin complex plays a critical role in the maintenance of normal tissue architecture. An alteration of any of the components of the E-cadherin-catenin complex is believed to result in the loss of cell-cell adhesion and to contribute to carcinogenesis. In order to evaluate such alterations in the gastric adenoma-carcinoma sequence, the abnormal expression of beta-catenin and E-cadherin and the mutations of beta-catenin exon 3 were studied. In the case of beta-catenin, nuclear immunoreactivity was noted in 17 (11.3%) out of 150 adenomas and 19 (17.1%) out of 111 carcinomas (p = 0.18). Among 51 gastric adenomas, no mutations were detected by direct sequencing analysis. The loss of membranous expression of both beta-catenin and E-cadherin linearly increased with tumor progression, however, beta-catenin loss was more frequent than E-cadherin. Our results show that the nuclear expression and membranous loss of beta-catenin without exon 3 mutation is relatively frequent in gastric adenomas. These suggest that alteration of other genes is primarily responsible for the nuclear translocation of beta-catenin in gastric adenomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics
  • Adenoma / metabolism*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Exons
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mutation
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Trans-Activators / biosynthesis*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • beta Catenin


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