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Lung Cancer. 1998 Nov;22(2):85-95.

Influence of E-cadherin dysfunction upon local invasion and metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Tokyo Medical College, Japan.


E-Cadherin (ECD), a transmembrane cell adhesion molecule, is associated with three kinds of cytoplasmic proteins (alpha-catenin, beta-catenin and plakoglobin), and formation of the cadherin-catenins adhesion complex is indispensable for tight cell-to-cell adhesion in adherence junctions. There is a high possibility that dysfunction of ECD reflects increased potential for local invasion and distant metastasis. We investigated the relationship between the expression of cadherin-catenin adhesion complex and the clinicopathological features in 81 cases of non-small cell lung cancer. There were statistically significant relationships between the expression of ECD and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.016) and between the expression of ECD and pathological stage (P = 0.006). Reduction of alpha-catenin expression was associated with local invasion and pathological stage. Dividing the 81 cases into two groups based on ECD function revealed a statistically significant relationship between ECD function and all clinicopathological factors investigated (local tumor invasion P = 0.033, lymph node metastasis P<0.001, pathological stage P<0.001). Evaluation of ECD function using the expression of cadherin-catenin adhesion complex is useful to evaluate tumor malignancy of non-small cell lung cancer.

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