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Colorectal Dis. 2010 Dec;12(12):1223-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2009.01994.x.

The survival effect of E-cadherin and catenins in colorectal carcinomas.

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Department of General Surgery, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey.



The E-cadherin/catenin complex plays an important role in epithelial tissue architecture. Decreased expression of cell adhesion molecules (E-cadherin, α-, β- and γ-catenin) have been reported to correlate with invasive behaviour. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between the expression of adhesion molecules and clinicopathological characteristics and survival in colorectal carcinoma.


The expression of adhesion molecules were studied by immunohistochemistry in 138 colorectal carcinomas.


The mean age of the patients was 65 years (range: 21-89 years). In primary carcinomas, a reduction in membranous expression of E-cadherin, α-catenin, β-catenin, γ-catenin was demonstrated (70%, 68%, 73%, 77%, respectively). Nuclear expression of β-catenin was found in eight (5%) patients. Decreased membranous β- and γ-catenin expression significantly correlated with tumour differentiation (P = 0.013, P = 0.03, respectively). There was a significant association between advanced stage of the tumour and decreased membranous α-catenin expression (P = 0.012). Decreased E-cadherin and β-catenin membranous expression correlated with short survival following curative resection of the primary tumour (P = 0.04, P = 0.03, respectively).


The decreased membranous expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin and increased cytoplasmic expression of β-catenin might be used as a prognostic marker to monitor patients with colorectal cancer.

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