Membrane loss and aberrant nuclear localization of E-cadherin are consistent features of solid pseudopapillary tumour of the pancreas. An immunohistochemical study using two antibodies recognizing different domains of the E-cadherin molecule

Histopathology. 2008 Feb;52(3):325-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2007.02949.x.


Aim: To examine the expression of E-cadherin in solid pseudopapillary tumours (SPT) of the pancreas using two monoclonal antibodies recognizing two different domains of the E-cadherin molecule.

Methods and results: Twenty cases of SPT were collected and a tissue microarray (TMA) constructed. The TMA was stained with commercially available antibodies to E-cadherin and beta-catenin. All 20 cases displayed nuclear beta-catenin as well as aberrant E-cadherin expression. With the antibody that stains the cytoplasmic domain of E-cadherin (clone 36, BD Transduction Laboratories), all 20 cases demonstrated nuclear E-cadherin reactivity, whereas with use of the antibody that recognizes the extracellular domain (clone 36B5, Vector Laboratories), no reactivity was observed in any of the cases.

Conclusion: This study shows that aberrant beta-catenin and E-cadherin protein expression occurs in 100% of SPT, is probably linked mechanistically to beta-catenin nuclear localization, and two distinct patterns of E-cadherin immunoreactivity are seen in SPT: nuclear (with the antibody against the cytoplasmic domain), or immunonegativity (complete loss) when stained with the antibody for the E-cadherin extracellular fragment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Cadherins / analysis*
  • Cadherins / immunology
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / chemistry*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / secondary
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / pathology
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins