Abnormal α-catenin expression in invasive breast cancer correlates with poor patient survival

L. Nakopoulou, H. Gakiopoulou-Givalou, A. J. Karayiannakis, I. Giannopoulou, A. Keramopoulos, P. Davaris, M. Pignatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: α-Catenin is a member of the E-cadherin-catenin family of adhesion molecules whose role is essential for the function of the E-cadherin complex. In this study, we have evaluated the expression of α-catenin but also of the other catenins (β-, γ- and p120-catenin) and E-cadherin in invasive breast cancer and statistically analysed these expressions with known clinicopathological parameters, c-erbB-2 onco-protein expression and patient survival. Methods and results: Abnormal E-cadherin and β-catenin expression, especially loss of expression, was associated with lobular histological type of breast carcinomas (P = 0.03 and P = 0.01, respectively). Abnormal E-cadherin and α-catenin expression was associated with high histological grade ductal carcinomas (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively). Abnormal E-cadherin and β-catenin expression was correlated with lymph node metastases (P = 0.02 and P = 0.05, respectively), while abnormal α- and β-catenin were correlated with the advanced stage of the disease (P = 0.04 and P = 0.05, respectively). Abnormal p120-catenin expression was associated with loss of PR (P = 0.008). Survival analysis demonstrated a statistically significant association between abnormal α-catenin expression and poor patient survival (P = 0.02). When survival analysis was performed according to the different patterns of abnormal expression, statistically significant associations were seen between cytoplasmic α- and β-catenin expression and poor survival (P = 0.006 and P = 0.04, respectively). Conclusions: α-Catenin, especially its cytoplasmic expression, seems to be a more sensitive prognostic marker than the other members of the E-cadherin complex in invasive breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-546
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Catenins (α-, β-, γ-, p120)
  • E-cadherin
  • Invasive breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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