Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 1998 Feb;77(4):605-13.

Aberrant expression and phosphorylation of beta-catenin in human colorectal cancer.

Author information

Department of Surgery II, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


The cytoplasmic domain of cadherins is known to associate with the intracellular proteins, catenins, which link cadherins to the actin-based cytoskeleton. In this study, we immunohistochemically investigated the expression of beta-catenin as well as E-cadherin and alpha-catenin in 86 human colorectal cancers, and we analysed their coexpression pattern and relationship to clinicopathological factors. In cancerous tissues, the frequency of reduced expression of beta-catenin (28 of 86, 33%) was similar to that of E-cadherin (19 of 86, 22%), but less than that of alpha-catenin (47 of 86, 55%). All three molecules were expressed strongly, as was the normal epithelium, in 36 cases (42%), whereas the rest (50 cases, 58%) showed reduction in one of the molecules. The reduction of beta-catenin expression was significantly correlated with dedifferentiation, Duke's stage, lymph node metastasis and liver metastasis. Next, we examined tyrosine phosphorylation in the protein complex immunoprecipitated with E-cadherin, as E-cadherin function is down-regulated by receptor-type tyrosine kinase in vitro. It was of interest that up-regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin was more frequently observed in cancerous tissues than in the matching normal mucosa. These results suggest that beta-catenin may have important regulatory roles within an E-cadherin-mediated adhesion system in human colorectal cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center