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Prostate. 2008 Nov 1;68(15):1681-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.20836.

Unmethylated E-cadherin gene expression is significantly associated with metastatic human prostate cancer cells in bone.

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  • 1Molecular Pathology Program, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena, California 91101, USA.



The concurrent determination of methylation status of E-cadherin gene and E-cadherin protein expression remains scant in metastatic prostate cancer cells in bone, the most prevalent site for metastatic growth. Therefore, the study was undertaken to ascertain the methylation status of E-cadherin gene, a most frequent and known epigenetic mechanism of its regulation, and the protein expression in prostate tissue biopsy specimen.


The methylation of E-cadherin gene was determined by methylation specific-PCR and the protein expression by immunohistochemical method in the consecutive sections of each prostate tissue biopsy specimen.


The unmethylated E-cadherin gene and homogeneous E-cadherin protein expression was significantly associated with BPH as compared to the primary prostate carcinoma (Fisher's Exact P < 0.001). A significant association was observed between the concurrent methylated gene and markedly reduced expression of the protein in the primary prostate cancer cells as compared to the BPH cells, suggesting methylation-dependent regulation of the gene expression in these cases. In contrast to the primary cancer, a highly significant increase in the frequency of metastatic prostate cancer cells in bone exhibited the concurrent expression of unmethylated gene and homogeneous protein (Fisher's Exact P < 0.001).


The study clearly demonstrated a significant association of the concurrent expression of unmethylated E-cadherin gene and E-cadherin protein with metastatic prostate cancer cells in bone, and that its expression may have a role in the intercellular adhesion in the formation of metastatic lesions in bone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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