Frequent translocalization of beta-catenin in gastric cancers and its relevance to tumor progression

Oncol Rep. 2004 Jun;11(6):1201-7.


Altered distribution of beta-catenin has been found in many human malignancies including gastric cancer, but its reason(s) and biological implications have not yet been fully clarified. By the methods of frozen tissue array-based immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and PCR-SSCP followed by DNA sequencing, the patterns of beta-catenin distribution in the subtypes of gastric cancers and their premalignant and non-cancerous counterparts were examined and the potential correlation of beta-catenin alteration with invasion was elucidated. Membranous beta-catenin was detected constantly in non-cancerous mucosa but became reduced or absent in cancer tissues. The cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin could be observed in premalignant (atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia) and cancer tissues, particularly in those infiltrated into deep muscular region. beta-catenin mutation was not detected in all of tissue samples with and without translocalized beta-catenin. These results indicate that beta-catenin translocalization is a common phenomenon in gastric cancers as well as their related lesions. The loss of membranous and the gain of cytoplasmic and nuclear beta-catenin in gastric cancers checked in this study are not due to the mutational event. beta-catenin molecules translocalized in the nuclei are closely correlated with tumor invasion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / pathology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Metaplasia / metabolism
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Protein Transport
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • beta Catenin


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