Aberrant expression of E-cadherin and beta-catenin in human prostate cancer

Meena Jaggi, Sonny L. Johansson, John J. Baker, Lynette M. Smith, Anton Galich, K. C. Balaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Cadherin-catenin complexes play a key role in embryonic development, and are associated with carcinogenesis and metastasis. We studied the expression of the major members of the family, including E-cadherin and β-catenin in prostate cancer (PC), and correlated with Gleason grade and pathologic stage. Immunohistochemistry was performed on serial sections of paraffinized radical prostatectomy specimens to evaluate E-cadherin (n = 16) and β-catenin (n = 17) expression using heat induced epitope retrieval. Benign appearing prostate epithelium was used as an internal control in each specimen. Two pathologists independently reviewed and scored the intensity and extent of immunostaining using a semiquantitative scale. The Mantel-Haenszel method, stratified by reviewer, was used to test for an association among Gleason score, pathologic stage, and the expression of E-cadherin or β-catenin in PC. Gleason grade <7 cancers showed significantly lower expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin compared to Gleason grade <7 PC, P = 0.015 and 0.025, respectively. In addition, β-catenin was down regulated in 4 of 5 (80%) specimens with identifiable high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and had demonstrable nuclear staining in higher grade PC (P = 0.0001). However, E-cadherin and β-catenin membranous or nuclear expressions were not significantly associated with final pathologic stage of the specimens (P values >0.05). Overall, the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin is significantly down regulated in PC compared to surrounding benign appearing prostate, which correlates with increasing Gleason grade. Furthermore, nuclear localization of β-catenin in high grade PC may be a useful biomarker for aggressive PC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Beta-catenin
  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • E-cadherin
  • Gleason grade
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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