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Hum Pathol. 1999 Nov;30(11):1344-9.

Expression of E-cadherin in bone and soft tissue sarcomas: a possible role in epithelial differentiation.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


The cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion system is now known to play a critical role in both the morphogenesis of cancer cells and suppression of their invasion. However, the pattern of expression of E-cadherin, the major cadherin of epithelial cells in bone and soft tissue sarcomas, remains unclear. This prompted us to study E-cadherin expression in a variety of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Using the monoclonal antibody HECD-1, raised against the extracellular domain of E-cadherin, we observed immunoreactivity in 1 pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma, 2 of 5 diffuse mesotheliomas, 4 of 5 clear cell sarcomas, 1 of 5 epithelioid sarcomas, and 10 synovial sarcomas. Other types of bone and soft tissue sarcoma (4 osteosarcomas, 4 chondrosarcomas, 3 primitive neuroectodermal tumors, 1 fibrosarcoma, 4 malignant fibrous histiocytomas, 5 liposarcomas, 4 leiomyosarcomas, 6 alveolar and 5 embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas, 4 angiosarcomas, 4 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, 2 extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas, 2 extraskeletal osteosarcomas, and 3 alveolar soft part sarcomas) were completely negative for E-cadherin. Our findings indicate that E-cadherin is expressed in certain kinds of soft tissue sarcomas, especially those with epithelioid features, suggesting that E-cadherin plays a role in the constitution of their architecture.

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