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Pathol Res Pract. 2009;205(5):311-24. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2008.11.002. Epub 2009 Jan 4.

Analysis of APC, alpha-, beta-catenins, and N-cadherin protein expression in aggressive fibromatosis (desmoid tumor).

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Department of Biology and Genetics, Medical University, Pl. Hallera 1, 90-647 Lodz, Poland.


The aims of this study were to analyze the cadherin/catenin adhesion complex in cells from abdominal and extra-abdominal aggressive fibromatosis tumors, and to estimate the correlation between the expression of the tested proteins and the clinical data of the desmoid patients. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of the cadherin/catenin adhesion complex: APC protein, alpha-, beta-catenin, and N-cadherin in archival material derived from 15 cases of extra-abdominal desmoid tumor (E-AD) and 20 cases of abdominal (AD) desmoid tumor. The tested proteins demonstrated cytoplasmic (c) staining. Furthermore, nuclear (n) or cytoplasmic and nuclear (c+n) staining was observed for beta-catenin. The mean values of the percentage of positive cells for the tested proteins between E-AD vs. AD did not demonstrate any statistically significant difference except for alpha-catenin. In the E-AD group, in both cases of recurrent tumors, no alpha-catenin expression was observed but the expression of this protein was detected in primary tumors. In the groups investigated, no statistically significant correlation was found between alpha-catenin, beta-catenin (c), (n) and (c+n) expression, and tumor size (p>0.1). The results regarding beta-catenin expression obtained in our study confirm the previous findings that nuclear accumulation of this protein plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of aggressive fibromatosis.

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