, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 85-93

Frequent loss of membranous E-cadherin in gastric cancers: A cross-talk with Wnt in determining the fate of β-catenin

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Abstract

The potential correlation of E-cadherin reduction and Wnt2 up-regulation in determining the intracellular distribution of β-catenin in gastric cancers was investigated by the methods of frozen tissue array-based immunohistochemistry, Western blot and RT-PCR analysis. It was revealed that membranous E-cadherin was reduced frequently in the two major subtypes of gastric cancer (intestinal gastric cancer, i-GC and diffuse gastric cancer, d-GC) and closely correlated with the risk of lymphoid node metastasis (P < 0.05). The reduction of membranous E-cadherin was paralleled with cytosolic and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and the increased Wnt2 expression. These results indicate that the reduced E-cadherin is a common genetic phenotype of GCs and plays beneficial roles in tumor metastasis. Altered β-catenin distribution may result from the imbalance of E-cadherin production and Wnt expression, which confers on gastric cancer cells more aggressive behaviors.