The reduced expression of e-cadherin, alpha-catenin and gamma-catenin but not beta-catenin in human lung cancer

Oncol Rep. Jan-Feb 1999;6(1):81-5. doi: 10.3892/or.6.1.81.


Cadherins are Ca2+-dependent cell-cell adhesion molecules, and are involved in the formation and maintenance of the histo-architecture. Using a combination of biochemical and immunohistochemical methods, we analyzed the expression of cadherin-catenin complexes in 37 non-small cell lung carcinomas. In 19 cases, decreased expression of E-cadherin protein was observed. In 12 of them, decreased expression of alpha-catenin protein was also observed. Thus, decreased expression of alpha-catenin was apparently preceded by decreased expression of E-cadherin. In no cases was decreased expression of beta-catenin observed. In the 12 cases in which mRNA expression was analyzed by Northern blot analysis, decreased expression of mRNAs for E-cadherin and alpha-catenin was observed in 11 and 9 cases, respectively. In cases with reduced E-cadherin and alpha-catenin expression, immunohistochemistry revealed two types of staining pattern for the proteins. In the first type, almost all the cells in a tumor were stained weakly (homogeneous pattern). In the second type, different percentages of cells were stained strongly, the rest being almost negative for the staining (heterogeneous pattern).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Desmoplakins
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Trans-Activators*
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • gamma Catenin


  • CTNNA1 protein, human
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Desmoplakins
  • JUP protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Trans-Activators
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • gamma Catenin