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Int J Surg Pathol. 2006 Jul;14(3):212-7.

Beta-catenin and E-cadherin expression in salivary gland tumors.

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Department of Oral Pathology, São Leopoldo Mandic Dental Research Institute, Brazil.


This study evaluated the expression of E-cadherin and beta-catenin in salivary gland tumors. Twelve biopsy specimens from cases diagnosed as pleomorphic adenoma, 17 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 10 epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas, and 4 polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas were immunohistochemically labeled for E-cadherin and beta-catenin antibodies. Healthy salivary glands were used as controls. Membrane-associated E-cadherin and beta-catenin expression was present in all the tumor types studied. E-cadherin and beta-catenin showed a similar distribution; however, beta-catenin labeling was weaker than that for E-cadherin. In the epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas, myoepithelial cells exhibited diffuse nuclear staining, although occasional cells presented only focal labeling. Epithelial-myoepithelial carcinomas present changes in [.beta]-catenin expression but the other salivary tumors studied do not, which may reflect divergence in tumorigenesis of this extensive subset of salivary gland tumors.

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