The prognostic value of E-cadherin and the cadherin-associated molecules alpha-, beta-, gamma-catenin and p120ctn in prostate cancer specific survival: a long-term follow-up study

Prostate. 2007 Sep 15;67(13):1432-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.20626.


Objectives: To determine the value of loss of expression of E-cadherin and cadherin associated molecules as prognostic markers for prostate cancer patients in a long-term follow-up study.

Methods: Sixty-five prostate cancer specimens, obtained from patients with different stages of prostate cancer who underwent a radical prostatectomy or TUR-P between 1987 and 1991, were used for immunohistochemical analysis of the expression pattern of E-cadherin, alpha-, beta-, gamma-catenin and p120(ctn). Clinical records of these patients were studied for follow-up data and the prognostic value of expression of these adhesion molecules was determined by Kaplan-Meier survival analyses and multivariable proportional hazard regression analysis.

Results: Normal staining patterns were found in 36 cases (55.4%) for E-cadherin, 37 cases (56.9%) for alpha-catenin, 40 cases (61.5%) for beta-catenin, 25 cases (38.5%) for gamma-catenin, and 40 cases (61.5%) for p120(ctn). Overall, a strong correlation was found between the expression of E-cadherin and other cadherin-associated molecules. The 5-year survival rates for each staining were as follows: E-cadherin (normal 79.2%, aberrant 26.8%), alpha-catenin (normal 79.2%, aberrant 26.8%), beta-catenin (normal 73.1%, aberrant 27.3%), gamma-catenin (normal 86.4%, aberrant 37.1%), and p120(ctn) (normal 72.8%, aberrant 30.0%). There was a significant difference in survival between normal and aberrant expression in each staining (log rank P < 0.0001). The proportional hazard regression model including tumor stage and Gleason score revealed alpha-catenin expression as the best prognostic marker for patients with prostate cancer.

Conclusions: Our data revealed a strong correlation between E-cadherin expression and other cadherin-associated molecules. Among these markers, alpha-catenin seems the best prognostic marker for prostate cancer specific survival. Larger studies are needed to confirm this result.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Catenins / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • Catenins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Phosphoproteins
  • delta catenin