Epstein-Barr virus, beta-catenin, and E-cadherin in gastric carcinomas

J Korean Med Sci. 2007 Oct;22(5):855-61. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2007.22.5.855.


Activated beta-catenin is suggested to inhibit NF-kappaB activation, and we previously demonstrated that NF-kappaB nuclear positivity was more frequent in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected gastric carcinomas. It is controversial that beta-catenin and E-cadherin are prognostic markers in gastric carcinomas. To define a relationship between beta-catenin and EBV, and the prognostic value of beta-catenin and E-cadherin, we analyzed in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded small RNAs, beta-catenin, and E-cadherin immunohistochemistry, and clinicopathological features in 111 gastric carcinomas. EBV infection was detected in seven carcinomas (6.3%); none of seven showed beta-catenin nuclear accumulation, and five out of seven revealed beta-catenin membranous loss or cytoplasmic expression. Eighty cases (72.1%) showed beta-catenin alteration; i.e., loss of membrane staining in 65 (58.6 %), cytoplasmic expression in 35 (31.5%), and nuclear accumulation in 15 (13.5%). E-cadherin alteration was observed in 34 cases (30.6%) and correlated with beta-catenin alteration. On multivariate analysis, the combined immunoexpression group of beta-catenin nuclear accumulation/ E-cadherin alteration and the advanced TNM cancer stage group showed poor patient's survival (p<0.05). In conclusion, beta-catenin activation through nuclear accumulation hardly occurred in EBV-infected gastric carcinomas. The combined immunoexpression pattern of beta-catenin and E-cadherin can be used as a prognostic marker in gastric carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / virology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / virology*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Cadherins
  • NF-kappa B
  • beta Catenin