Adherens junction proteins in tumour progression

Cancer Surv. 1995;24:129-40.


The loss of epithelial differentiation in carcinomas, which is accompanied by higher mobility and invasiveness of the tumour cells, is often a consequence of reduced intercellular adhesion. The primary cause of the "scattering" of cells in invasive carcinomas appears to be a disturbance of the integrity of intercellular junctions, often involving the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. Permanent and transient molecular mechanisms can lead to the impairment of junction integrity of epithelial cells and thus to the progression of carcinomas towards a more invasive state. These include downregulation of E-cadherin expression and interaction between the adherens junction protein beta-catenin and the tumour suppressor gene product APC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Animals
  • Cadherins / analysis
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • beta Catenin


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin