, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 2459-2468
Date: 19 Apr 2013

Altered expression of β-catenin, E-cadherin, and E-cadherin promoter methylation in epithelial ovarian carcinoma

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the immunoexpression of E-cadherin, β-catenin, and Ki-67, as well as the promoter methylation of E-cadherin gene in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), as well as to find a possible relationship between the immunoexpression and hypermethylation. Promoter methylation was studied using methylation-specific PCR in 86 malignant cases, 14 low malignant potential (LMP) tumors and 19 benign cystadenomas. Immunohistochemical expression was carried out in 64 malignant cases, 8 LMP tumors, and 11 benign cystadenomas. Immunoexpression of E-cadherin was reduced in EOC, while 100 % expression was seen in LMP tumors and benign cystadenomas. An interesting observation was the nuclear expression of E-cadherin in a high percentage of cancers, which showed a positive correlation with Ki-67. Β-Catenin expression showed heterogeneous localization with increased nuclear localization, which was significantly higher in cases that did not express E-cadherin. Promoter methylation of E-cadherin was 36, 14, and 11 % in EOC, LMP tumors, and benign cystadenomas, respectively. Our results suggest that reduced expression of E-cadherin is associated with promoter methylation of E-cadherin gene, in addition to providing evidence for the aberrant nuclear localization of E-cadherin in EOC.