Expression of E-cadherin, P-cadherin and beta-catenin in canine malignant mammary tumours in relation to clinicopathological parameters, proliferation and survival

Vet J. 2008 Jul;177(1):45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.05.024. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Cadherin-catenin complexes play a critical role in intercellular adhesion, and their altered expression has been implicated in tumour progression. In this study, the expression of E-cadherin, P-cadherin and beta-catenin was analysed in 65 canine malignant mammary tumours and correlated with clinicopathological parameters, proliferation and survival. Reduction in E-cadherin expression was significantly associated with increased tumour size, high histological and invasion grades, lymph node metastasis and high mitotic index. Reduced beta-catenin expression was associated with high histological and invasion grades. Anomalous expression of P-cadherin was only associated with invasion. In 39 cases for which follow-up data were available, reduced E-cadherin and beta-catenin expression was significantly associated with shorter overall survival and disease free survival. Abnormal expression of adhesion molecules is a common phenomenon in canine mammary malignant tumours and may play a central role in tumour progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Cadherins / analysis*
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / mortality
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Immunohistochemistry / veterinary
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / diagnosis
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / mortality
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • beta Catenin / analysis*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • beta Catenin