Adherens junctions and cancer

Subcell Biochem. 2012;60:379-414. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4186-7_16.


Cadherins and catenins are the central cell-cell adhesion molecules in adherens junctions (AJs). This chapter reviews the knowledge concerning the role of cadherins and catenins in epithelial cancer and examines the published literature demonstrating the changes in the expression and function of these proteins in human cancer and the association of these changes with patient outcomes. The chapter also covers the mechanistic studies aiming at uncovering the significance of changes in cadherin and catenin expression in cancer and potential molecular mechanisms responsible for the causal role of AJs in cancer initiation and progression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adherens Junctions / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules