Integrin α6β4, a putative laminin receptor, is expressed in normal squamous epithelium and in squamous cell carcinomas. We evaluated by immunohistochemistry the topography of the β4 subunit in 35 biopsy samples representative of the sequence from normal exocervical epithelium to invasive squamous cell carcinoma. In normal and metaplastic squamous cervical epithelium, in condylomas, and in squamous epithelium with low-grade dysplasia (CIN 1), β4 was detected in basal and parabasal cells. In high- grade CIN (2-3) there was enhanced β4 expression and upward shift of β4 topography to the whole epithelial thickness. The β4 chain was diffusely expressed in most invasive squamous cell carcinomas. These observations suggest that profound alterations in the expression of the α6β4 adhesion glycoprotein occur in the intraepithelial phase of cervical carcinogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology