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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Oct;17(5):499-508.

Cadherins and catenins in breast cancer.

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Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Recent studies show that cadherins and catenins are hormonally regulated and carry out physiological roles during mammary development but have pathological effects when deregulated. E-cadherin expression is irreversibly lost in invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC). Animal models of ILC provide mechanistic insight, confirming that E-cadherin serves as both a tumor suppressor and an invasion suppressor in ILC. Ductal breast cancer involves complex, reversible, epigenetic modulation of multiple cadherins. Transcriptional regulators of E-cadherin have been identified that induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions. Catenins are lost or mislocalized in tumors lacking cadherins. However, beta-catenin signaling is upregulated by numerous pathways in >50% of breast tumors and animal models suggest its oncogenic function in breast relates to its role in mammary progenitor cell expansion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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