Characterization of the E-cadherin-catenin complexes in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines

Iman El-Hariry, Mark Jordinson, Nicholas Lemoine, Massimo Pignatelli

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13 Citations (Scopus)


E-cadherin and its associated cytoplasmic proteins α-, β-, and γ- catenins play important roles in cell adhesion and signal transduction, as well as in maintenance of the structural and functional organization of polarized epithelial cells. In this study, the expression, distribution, and complex assembly of catenias with E-cadherin was analysed at the steady state in a panel of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines (BxPc3, HPAF, T3M4, and PaTuII cell lines). The expression and subcellular distribution were determined by western blotting and immunocytochemistry. Co- immunoprecipitation and cross-linking studies were performed to examine the complex assembly in both Triton X-100 (TX-100)-soluble and -insoluble fractions. In BxPc3 and T3M4 cells, E-cadherin exists in two complexes, one with α- and γ-catenin, and the other with β-catenin alone, in HPAF cells there are two complexes, one consisting of E-cadherin with α- and β- catenin, and another of E-cadherin with γ-catenin. In PaTuII cells, there is only a single complex of E-cadherin with α-catenin and γ-catenin. Modification of E-cadherin-catenin complexes in HPAF and PaTuII cells was associated with loss of membranous E-cadherin immunolocalization. The common denominator is impaired β-catenin association with either E-cadherin (PaTuII) or α-catenin (BxPc3 and T3M4). This may suggest the presence of distinct mechanisms that modulate the assembly of each complex, which could disturb the tumour suppressor function of E-cadherin and the catenins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 10 1999


  • Catenins
  • E-cadherin
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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