Author(s): Lowy AM, FenoglioPreiser C, Kim OJ, Kordich J, Gomez A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: beta-Catenin functions as an integral part of the E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complex to maintain epithelial cell integrity. beta-Catenin also functions as part of the Wnt signal transduction pathway to transmit growth-promoting signals to the nucleus via its interactions with Tcf/Lef transcription factors. Previous reports have demonstrated altered beta-catenin expression in numerous tumor types; however, reports regarding beta-catenin expression in pancreatic cancer have been conflicting. METHODS: beta-Catenin expression was examined in 10 pancreatic cancer cell lines by Western and Northern analysis and by immunofluorescence. Expression was also examined by immunohistochemistry in 57 primary pancreatic cancers and 7 foci of carcinoma-in-situ. RESULTS: Reduced expression of beta-catenin was observed in 4 of 10 pancreatic cancer cell lines. Reduced membranous expression was noted in 32 pancreatic cancers (56\%) and correlated with loss of tumor differentiation. Nuclear beta-catenin expression was identified in two tumors (4\%). beta-Catenin expression was present in all seven foci of carcinoma-in-situ; however, nuclear expression was predominant in four of the seven cases. CONCLUSIONS: Alterations in beta-catenin expression are common in pancreatic cancer; however, signaling and adhesion functions may be perturbed at different times during tumor progression. Therefore, dysregulation of beta-catenin may contribute to the development and progression of this disease through distinct mechanisms.
This article was published in Ann Surg Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System