Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 4;275(5):3328-34.

Truncation of the beta-catenin binding domain of E-cadherin precedes epithelial apoptosis during prostate and mammary involution.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


A potential target of hormone action during prostate and mammary involution is the intercellular junction of adjacent secretory epithelium. This is supported by the long-standing observation that one of the first visible stages of prostate and mammary involution is the disruption of interepithelial adhesion prior to the onset of apoptosis. In a previous study addressing this aspect of involution, we acquired compelling evidence indicating that the disruption of E-cadherin-dependent adhesion initiates apoptotic programs during prostate and mammary involution. In cultured prostate and mammary epithelial cells, inhibition of E-cadherin-dependent aggregation resulted in cell death following apoptotic stimuli. Loss of cell-cell adhesion in the nonaggregated population appeared to result from the rapid truncation within the cytosolic domain of the mature, 120-kDa species of E-cadherin (E-cad(120)). Immunoprecipitations from cell culture and involuting mammary gland demonstrated that this truncation removed the beta-catenin binding domain from the cytoplasmic tail of E-cadherin, resulting in a non-beta-catenin binding, membrane-bound 97-kDa species (E-cad(97)) and a free cytoplasmic 35-kDa form (E-cad(35)) that is bound to beta-catenin. Examination of E-cadherin expression and cellular distribution during prostate and mammary involution revealed a dramatic reduction in junctional membrane staining that correlated with a similar reduction in E-cad(120) and accumulation of E-cad(97) and E-cad(35). The observation that E-cadherin was truncated during involution suggested that hormone depletion activated the same apoptotic pathway in vivo as observed in vitro. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that truncation of E-cadherin results in the loss of beta-catenin binding and cellular dissociation that may signal epithelial apoptosis during prostate and mammary involution. Thus, E-cadherin may be central to homeostatic regulation in these tissues by coordinating adhesion-dependent survival and dissociation-induced apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center