Co-ordinated changes in expression of cell adhesion molecules in prostate cancer

Eur J Cancer. 1997 Feb;33(2):263-71. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(96)00418-2.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Neoplasm Proteins