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Oncogene. 2009 Jan 8;28(1):31-40. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.363. Epub 2008 Sep 22.

beta-catenin mediates glandular formation and dysregulation of beta-catenin induces hyperplasia formation in the murine uterus.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Endometrioid adenocarcinoma is the most frequent form of endometrial cancer, usually developing in pre- and peri-menopausal women. beta-catenin abnormalities are common in endometrioid type endometrial carcinomas with squamous differentiation. To investigate the role of beta-catenin (Ctnnb1) in uterine development and tumorigenesis, mice were generated which expressed a dominant stabilized beta-catenin or had beta-catenin conditionally ablated in the uterus by crossing the PR(Cre) mouse with the Ctnnb1(f(ex3)/+) mouse or Ctnnb1(f/f) mouse, respectively. Both of the beta-catenin mutant mice have fertility defects and the ability of the uterus to undergo a hormonally induced decidual reaction was lost. Expression of the dominant stabilized beta-catenin, PR(cre/+)Ctnnb1(f(ex3)/+), resulted in endometrial glandular hyperplasia, whereas ablation of beta-catenin, PR(cre/+)Ctnnb1(f/f), induced squamous cell metaplasia in the murine uterus. Therefore, we have demonstrated that correct regulation of beta-catenin is important for uterine function as well as in the regulation of endometrial epithelial differentiation.

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