E-cadherin germline missense mutations have been shown to be responsible for significant loss of protein activity. A new cytoplasmic E-cadherin germline missense mutation (V832 M) was recently identified in a hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) Japanese family. This E-cadherin mutant was cloned in a Chinese hamster ovary cell model system and functionally characterized, in terms of aggregation and invasion. Cells expressing the germline V832M mutant fail to aggregate and invade into collagen, supporting the pathogenic role of this germline missense mutation in gastric cancer. We also tested the ability of this mutation to activate the TCF-LEF trascriptional activity, in comparison with three other E-cadherin missense mutations (T340A, A634V and A617T), associated to loss of E-cadherin function. All the E-cadherin mutants reduced TCF-LEF activation to a similar extent as the wild-type protein, suggesting that the oncogenic effect of the E-cadherin mutants is unlikely to be transmitted through a beta-catenin-dependent activation of the WNT pathway.