Send to

Choose Destination
Anticancer Res. 2001 Nov-Dec;21(6A):4127-34.

Expression patterns of alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin in pancreatic cancer: correlation with E-cadherin expression, pathological features and prognosis.

Author information

Second Department of Surgery, Democritus University of Thrace, Medical School, Alexandroupolis, Greece.



The E-cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex has been implicated in tumour invasion and metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the clinical significance of E-cadherin and catenin expression in pancreatic cancer.


The immunohistochemical expression and cellular co-localization of alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin were investigated in 43 paraffin-embedded specimens of pancreatic cancer. The relationship between their expression and E-cadherin expression, clinicopathological features and prognosis was evaluated.


Abnormal alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin expression was found in 37%, 44% and 40% of cases, respectively. Both alpha-catenin and gamma-catenin expression correlated with disease stage and with lymph node and distant metastases, whereas aberrant beta-catenin expression only correlated with the presence of lymph node metastases. There was a significant and progressive concordance between E-cadherin and alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin expression patterns, respectively. The expressions of alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin also significantly correlated with one another. All three catenins, like E-cadherin, were associated with a poor prognosis, but only E-cadherin and alpha-catenin were independent prognostic factors for cancer-specific survival.


Changes in catenin expression and pancreatic cancer progression are possibly related events. The expression of E-cadherin and alpha-catenin may add useful new prognostic information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center