Cadherins are calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion molecules whose intracellular domain forms a complex with proteins required for their function, called catenins. Down-regulation of cadherins has frequently been detected in many types of human carcinomas, being associated with tumour progression. The present study investigates the immunohistochemical expression of E-cadherin and beta- and gamma-catenin in 27 human thyroid carcinomas. E-cadherin immunoreactivity was found to be decreased at cell- cell contacts in 8/15 (53 per cent) papillary, 5/7 (71 per cent) follicular, and 5/5 (100 per cent) anaplastic carcinomas. Beta-catenin membrane localization was found to be decreased in 6/15 (40 per cent) papillary, 2/7 (28 per cent) follicular, and 5/5 (100 per cent) anaplastic carcinomas. Gamma-catenin expression was partially or totally lost in 13/15 (86 per cent) papillary, 6/7 (85 per cent) follicular, and 5/5 (100 per cent) anaplastic carcinomas. A normal pattern of expression for these three molecules was observed in areas of normal tissue in each sample. These data indicate that in addition to E-cadherin, catenins are also down-regulated at cell-cell junctions in thyroid tumours and could represent potentially useful differentiation and/or transformation markers. The high frequency of alterations of gamma-catenin expression found in thyroid carcinomas suggests an important role for this gene product in thyroid carcinogenesis.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1998|
- Thyroid carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine