Virchows Archiv

, Volume 472, Issue 6, pp 999–1005 | Cite as

Assessment of CTNNB1 gene mutations and β-catenin immunoexpression in salivary gland pleomorphic adenomas and adenoid cystic carcinomas

  • Roberta Barroso Cavalcante
  • Cassiano Francisco Weege Nonaka
  • Hellen Bandeira de Pontes Santos
  • Silvia Helena Barem Rabenhorst
  • Leão Pereira Pinto
  • Lélia Batista de Souza
Original Article


β-Catenin exerts multiple functions in several neoplasms, playing a major role in cell signaling and tumor progression. This study analyzed possible CTNNB1 mutations in salivary gland pleomorphic adenomas (PAs) and adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACCs), and determined possible differences in β-catenin immunoexpression in relation to these mutations, as well as histopathological aspects of these tumors. Twenty-four PAs (15 cell-rich and 9 cell-poor tumors) and 24 ACCs (10 tubular, 8 cribriform, and 6 solid tumors) were selected for the analysis of β-catenin distribution and cellular localization. Furthermore, β-catenin expression was evaluated using the H-score scoring system. Mutations in CTNNB1 exon 3 were investigated by the single-strand conformational polymorphism test. Diffuse β-catenin expression was more frequently observed in ACCs compared to PAs (P = 0.008). No significant difference in β-catenin cellular localization was observed between these tumors (P = 0.098). Comparisons between PA and ACC cases revealed a higher median H-score in the latter (P = 0.036). Cell-rich PAs exhibited a trend for higher H-score than cell-poor tumors (P = 0.060), whereas lower H-scores were observed in cribriform ACCs when compared to tubular and solid ACCs (P = 0.042). Mutations in CTNNB1 were observed in 6 PAs and 7 ACCs, with no significant difference in H-scores for β-catenin according to mutation status (P = 0.135). β-Catenin is important in the pathogenesis of salivary gland PAs and ACCs. In addition, CTNNB1 exon 3 mutations do not seem to significantly influence β-catenin cytoplasmic/membranous expression or nuclear translocation in these tumors.


β-Catenin Salivary gland neoplasm Mutation Immunohistochemistry Pleomorphic adenoma Adenoid cystic carcinoma 



This study was supported by grant number 479935/04-1 from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from each patient after approval by the Institutional Ethics Committee on Research Involving Humans.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Barroso Cavalcante
    • 1
  • Cassiano Francisco Weege Nonaka
    • 2
  • Hellen Bandeira de Pontes Santos
    • 3
  • Silvia Helena Barem Rabenhorst
    • 4
  • Leão Pereira Pinto
    • 3
  • Lélia Batista de Souza
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oral PathologyUniversity of FortalezaFortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of DentistryState University of ParaíbaCampina GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Oral PathologyFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  4. 4.Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Forensic MedicineFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil

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