The expressions of E-cadherin, the integrin subunits beta 1, beta 2, beta 3, CD44 and alpha-catenin were studied in parallel by immunohistochemistry in a series of 40 prostate biopsies comprising one normal, 11 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and 28 prostatic adenocarcinomas. As reported by others, there was a consistent loss of E-cadherin expression with increasing tumour grade and de-differentiation. However, a significant proportion of losses occurred at earlier grades than previously reported. The parallel nature of this study showed, for the first time in human prostate carcinoma, a reciprocal expression pattern of E-cadherin and beta 1 integrin in the higher grades of prostate cancer. A reciprocal expression pattern was also found for E-cadherin and CD44 between moderately and poorly differentiated tumours. alpha-Catenin expression was downregulated only in those cells which had previously lost E-cadherin expression, and beta 2 and beta 3 integrin were rarely expressed in prostate tumours. A loss of expression of the luminal epithelial specific keratins CK8 and CK18 was also observed in advanced stage, poorly differentiated carcinomas.