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Mol Med Today. 1999 Apr;5(4):172-7.

E-cadherin downregulation in cancer: fuel on the fire?

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Cancer Genetics Laboratory, Biochemistry Dept, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The development, maintenance and repair of tissue requires an exquisite balance between cell proliferation, cell adhesion and cell motility. Equally, tumour initiation and progression are characterized by not only the abnormal expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and survival but also by genes responsible for the control of cell adhesion and cell motility. Central to the process of cell-cell adhesion in epithelial tissues is E-cadherin. Loss of E-cadherin function in tumours results in the rapid progression of relatively benign adenomas to invasive, metastatic carcinomas. Germline mutation of the E-cadherin gene predisposes to diffuse, poorly differentiated gastric cancer, and its downregulation in sporadic tumours is associated with poor clinical prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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