The incidence of cholangiocarcinomas originating from intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts, as well as of gallbladder carcinoma is increasing worldwide. The malignant transformation of biliary epithelia involves profound alterations of proteins in the intercellular junctions, among others zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), occludin, and E-cadherin. Each plays important role in the maintenance of epithelial cell polarity and regulation of cell growth and differentiation. Our aim was to investigate ZO-1, occludin, and E-cadherin immunohistochemical reactions in tissue microarray blocks containing 57 normal and 62 neoplastic biliary tract samples. We demonstrated that the tight junction components ZO-1, occludin, and E-cadherin are downregulated in carcinomas arising from various compartments of the biliary tract (normal intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts, gallbladder) as compared with their normal sites of origin. These results were confirmed by discriminant analysis yielding clear separation of the three normal sample groups from carcinomas in the corresponding locations.
Adherens junction Biliary tract cancer Tight junction
extrahepatic bile duct cancers
intrahepatic bile duct cancers
normal intrahepatic bile duct
normal extrahepatic bile duct
normal gall bladder
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Authors wish to thank Mrs Magdolna Pekár and Mrs Erzsébet Azumah for preparing the TMAs and the immunohistochemical reactions and Mrs Elvira Kale-Rigo for the careful reading and correction of the manuscript.
This work was supported by Grant 75468 from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA).
Conflict of interest statement
The authors of the present study confirm that there is no conflict of interest to be declared.
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