Expression of connexin32 and connexin43 gap junction proteins and E-cadherin in human lung cancer

Cancer Lett. 1998 May 15;127(1-2):161-9. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(98)00032-9.


We used immunohistochemical staining to examine the expression of the gap junction proteins connexin32 and connexin43 and of the intercellular adhesion molecule, E-cadherin, that is thought to be a prerequisite for gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), in 24 specimens of human lung cancer. Connexin32 was not found in cancer tissue and there were significantly fewer spots of connexin43 in the poorly differentiated versus the well differentiated (P = 0.0005) and moderately differentiated (P = 0.0002) adenocarcinomas and in the poorly differentiated versus the well differentiated (P = 0.0182) and moderately differentiated (P = 0.004) squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. E-Cadherin was expressed in all but three cases of poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer that showed a heterogeneously decreased expression of E-cadherin. These findings suggest that GJIC is decreased in poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Connexin 43 / metabolism*
  • Connexins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gap Junction beta-1 Protein
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cadherins
  • Connexin 43
  • Connexins