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Cancer Lett. 1998 Oct 23;132(1-2):193-201.

Loss of p120ctn in human colorectal cancer predicts metastasis and poor survival.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


The p120ctn protein (formerly p120CAS) is an armadillo family member that associates directly with the cytoplasmic tail of E-cadherin and participates in the junctional complex responsible for cell-cell adhesion. Since reduced cell-cell adhesion is associated with metastasis in colorectal cancer and other neoplasms, we hypothesize that reduced expression of p120ctn may be related to metastasis in colorectal tumors. Here we describe a study of p120ctn expression in 44 primary human colorectal adenocarcinomas. As detected by immunohistochemical methods, we find altered p120ctn staining patterns in 86% of the cases. Regional complete loss of expression is seen in 18% of the cases, and it correlates with high stage disease and nodal metastasis as well as decreased survival. Although this is a preliminary study, it suggests that downregulation of p120ctn in colon cancer may be associated with metastasis and poor clinical outcome.

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