Aberrant E-cadherin and α-catenin expression in prostate cancer: Correlation with patient survival

Paul J.M. Richmond, Anastasios J. Karayiannakis, Akira Nagafuchi, Amir V. Kaisary, Massimo Pignatelli

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209 Citations (Scopus)


E-cadherin maintains the normal differentiated phenotype in epithelial cells; this function is partly mediated by α-catenin, which links E-cadherin to the cell cytoskeleton. Dysfunction of E-cadherin in vitro and in vivo is associated with an invasive phenotype. However, the role of α-catenin is largely undetermined. We analyzed the expression of E-cadherin and α- catenin in prostate cancer to assess the relationship of abnormal expression to stage, grade and survival. E-cadherin expression was evaluated in 99 prostate cancers. In 79 of those specimens, α-catenin was also assessed. In benign prostatic epithelium, both E-cadherin and α-catenin were expressed uniformly at the cell membrane. Abnormal E-cadherin expression was found in 56% of cancer specimens, whereas α-catenin expression was abnormal in 42%. Abnormal expression of each molecule was significantly correlated with Gleason score (P < 0.0001) and the ratio of resection chippings infiltrated by tumor (P < 0.0001). E-cadherin expression was also associated with the extent of disease on the initial bone scan (P = 0.017). Univariate analysis showed significantly lower survival rate for patients with abnormal E- eadherin (P = 0.0003) or α-catenin expression (P = 0.031). Multivariate regression analysis showed that the prognostic value of E-cadherin was independent of tumor grade but not of metastasis. These results suggest that perturbation of cell-cell adhesion is involved in the progression of prostate cancer and that analysis of E-cadherin expression may be clinically useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3189-3193
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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