Beta-catenin expression in uterine sarcomas and its relation to clinicopathological parameters

Eur J Cancer. 2009 Sep;45(13):2412-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.06.017. Epub 2009 Jul 20.


Aberrations in the Wnt/beta-catenin signalling pathway are suggested as mediators of chromosomal instability and carcinogenesis. beta-catenin acts both as a component of the membranous adhesion system, and as a transcription activator in the nucleus. beta-Catenin immunoreactivity was evaluated in 353 uterine sarcomas (US) including 231 leiomyosarcomas (LMS), 82 endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS), 22 adenosarcomas (AS) and 18 undifferentiated uterine sarcomas (UUS). Up-regulated membranous beta-catenin was observed in 25% of the LMS (p=0.039), 21% of the ESS (p=0.072) and 39% of the UUS (p=0.025). Cytoplasmic beta-catenin was up-regulated in 36% of the LMS (p=0.008) and 33% of the UUS (p=0.028). Nuclear beta-catenin expression was observed in 23% of the LMS (p=0.051), 61% of ESS (p=0.628) and in the sarcoma component of 68% of the AS. In patients with LMS, membranous beta-catenin was associated with poor crude survival in univariate (p=0.045), but not in multivariate analyses. In patients with ESS, nuclear beta-catenin expression was related to spread of tumour (p=0.033), but not to survival. The observation of up-regulated beta-catenin expression in US might suggest a so far undocumented role for the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in these malignancies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoma / metabolism*
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Survival Analysis
  • Up-Regulation
  • Uterine Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / mortality
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Young Adult
  • beta Catenin / genetics
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin