Gene Summary

Gene:CTNNA1; catenin alpha 1
Aliases: MDPT2, CAP102
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the catenin family of proteins that play an important role in cell adhesion process by connecting cadherins located on the plasma membrane to the actin filaments inside the cell. The encoded mechanosensing protein contains three vinculin homology domains and undergoes conformational changes in response to cytoskeletal tension, resulting in the reconfiguration of cadherin-actin filament connections. Certain mutations in this gene cause butterfly-shaped pigment dystrophy. [provided by RefSeq, May 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:catenin alpha-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CTNNA1 (cancer-related)

van der Post RS, Gullo I, Oliveira C, et al.
Histopathological, Molecular, and Genetic Profile of Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer: Current Knowledge and Challenges for the Future.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016; 908:371-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial clustering is seen in 10 % of gastric cancer cases and approximately 1-3 % of gastric cancer arises in the setting of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). In families with HDGC, gastric cancer presents at young age. HDGC is predominantly caused by germline mutations in CDH1 and in a minority by mutations in other genes, including CTNNA1. Early stage HDGC is characterized by a few, up to dozens of intramucosal foci of signet ring cell carcinoma and its precursor lesions. These include in situ signet ring cell carcinoma and pagetoid spread of signet ring cells. Advanced HDGC presents as poorly cohesive/diffuse type carcinoma, normally with very few typical signet ring cells, and has a poor prognosis. Currently, it is unknown which factors drive the progression towards aggressive disease, but it is clear that most intramucosal lesions will not have such progression.Immunohistochemical profile of early and advanced HDGC is often characterized by abnormal E-cadherin immunoexpression, including absent or reduced membranous expression, as well as "dotted" or cytoplasmic expression. However, membranous expression of E-cadherin does not exclude HDGC. Intramucosal HDGC (pT1a) presents with an "indolent" phenotype, characterized by typical signet ring cells without immunoexpression of Ki-67 and p53, while advanced carcinomas (pT > 1) display an "aggressive" phenotype with pleomorphic cells, that are immunoreactive for Ki-67 and p53. These features show that the IHC profile is different between intramucosal and more advanced HDGC, providing evidence of phenotypic heterogeneity, and may help to define predictive biomarkers of progression from indolent to aggressive, widely invasive carcinomas.

Sheng Y, Wang H, Liu D, et al.
Methylation of tumor suppressor gene CDH13 and SHP1 promoters and their epigenetic regulation by the UHRF1/PRMT5 complex in endometrial carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(1):145-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Epigenetic changes in cancer and precancerous lesions could be utilized as biomarkers for cancer early detection. This study aims to investigate the novel biomarkers in endometrial carcinoma, and explore their epigenetic regulation.
METHODS: Methylation of six tumor suppressor genes (CDH13, SHP1, HIN1, DKK3, CTNNA1 and PCDH8) was evaluated in 155 endometrium samples. Changes of methylation and mRNA expression after treatment with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR) or/and trichostatin A (TSA) were investigated by MSP and qRT-PCR respectively. Co-immunoprecipitation was used to detect the interactions between UHRF1 and PRMT5 proteins.
RESULTS: CDH13 and SHP1 promoters were highly methylated (81.36% and 86.44%, respectively) in endometrial carcinoma, while CDH13 promoter methylation was also present in complex hyperplasia and atypical hyperplasia (51.72% and 50.00%, respectively). Methylation of CDH13 and SHP1 promoters was associated with age and tumor differentiation or muscular infiltration depth. CDH13 and SHP1 promoters were completely methylated in endometrial carcinoma cell lines and were partially reversed by 5-Aza-CdR or TSA to induce mRNA levels (P<0.01). After combined treatment with these two agents, methylation of CDH13 and SHP1 promoters was completely reversed and expression of their mRNA was significantly increased (P<0.01). Moreover, PRMT5 could bind to UHRF1 and down-regulated by 5-Aza-CdR and/or TSA treatment (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate for the first time that SHP1 methylation has high specificity for diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma, while CDH13 promoter methylation plays a role in the earlier stage. Furthermore, UHRF1 could form a complex with PRMT5 to contribute to the endometrial carcinogenesis.

Lin Y, Wu Z, Guo W, Li J
Gene mutations in gastric cancer: a review of recent next-generation sequencing studies.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(10):7385-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. Although some driver genes have been identified in GC, the molecular compositions of GC have not been fully understood. The development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides a high-throughput and systematic method to identify all genetic alterations in the cancer genome, especially in the field of mutation detection. NGS studies in GC have discovered some novel driver mutations. In this review, we focused on novel gene mutations discovered by NGS studies, along with some well-known driver genes in GC. We organized mutated genes from the perspective of related biological pathways. Mutations in genes relating to genome integrity (TP53, BRCA2), chromatin remodeling (ARID1A), cell adhesion (CDH1, FAT4, CTNNA1), cytoskeleton and cell motility (RHOA), Wnt pathway (CTNNB1, APC, RNF43), and RTK pathway (RTKs, RAS family, MAPK pathway, PIK pathway) are discussed. Efforts to establish a molecular classification based on NGS data which is valuable for future targeted therapy for GC are introduced. Comprehensive dissection of the molecular profile of GC cannot only unveil the molecular basis for GC but also identify genes of clinical utility, especially potential and specific therapeutic targets for GC.

Hansford S, Kaurah P, Li-Chang H, et al.
Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome: CDH1 Mutations and Beyond.
JAMA Oncol. 2015; 1(1):23-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: E-cadherin (CDH1) is a cancer predisposition gene mutated in families meeting clinically defined hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). Reliable estimates of cancer risk and spectrum in germline mutation carriers are essential for management. For families without CDH1 mutations, genetic-based risk stratification has not been possible, resulting in limited clinical options.
OBJECTIVES: To derive accurate estimates of gastric and breast cancer risks in CDH1 mutation carriers and determine if germline mutations in other genes are associated with HDGC.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Testing for CDH1 germline mutations was performed on 183 index cases meeting clinical criteria for HDGC. Penetrance was derived from 75 mutation-positive families from within this and other cohorts, comprising 3858 probands (353 with gastric cancer and 89 with breast cancer). Germline DNA from 144 HDGC probands lacking CDH1 mutations was screened using multiplexed targeted sequencing for 55 cancer-associated genes.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Accurate estimates of gastric and breast cancer risks in CDH1 mutation carriers and the relative contribution of other cancer predisposition genes in familial gastric cancers.
RESULTS: Thirty-one distinct pathogenic CDH1 mutations (14 novel) were identified in 34 of 183 index cases (19%). By the age of 80 years, the cumulative incidence of gastric cancer was 70% (95% CI, 59%-80%) for males and 56% (95% CI, 44%-69%) for females, and the risk of breast cancer for females was 42% (95% CI, 23%-68%). In CDH1 mutation-negative index cases, candidate mutations were identified in 16 of 144 probands (11%), including mutations within genes of high and moderate penetrance: CTNNA1, BRCA2, STK11, SDHB, PRSS1, ATM, MSR1, and PALB2.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This is the largest reported series of CDH1 mutation carriers, providing more precise estimates of age-associated risks of gastric and breast cancer that will improve counseling of unaffected carriers. In HDGC families lacking CDH1 mutations, testing of CTNNA1 and other tumor suppressor genes should be considered. Clinically defined HDGC families can harbor mutations in genes (ie, BRCA2) with different clinical ramifications from CDH1. Therefore, we propose that HDGC syndrome may be best defined by mutations in CDH1 and closely related genes, rather than through clinical criteria that capture families with heterogeneous susceptibility profiles.

Sugimoto S, Komatsu H, Morohoshi Y, Kanai T
Recognition of and recent issues in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
J Gastroenterol. 2015; 50(8):831-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
In East Asian countries, gastric cancer incidence is high, but detection rates for germline CDH1 mutations that cause hereditary diffuse gastric cancers (HDGCs) are low. Consequently, screens and genetic testing for HDGC are often considered unimportant. Since the first germline truncating CDH1 mutations in Japanese patients were reported, some HDGC cases have been reported, and some of these involve large germline rearrangements and de novo mutation of CDH1. New methods for mutation detection--such as multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, array comparative genomic hybridization, and exome sequencing--have become available, as have new experimental models, including novel gene-knockout mice and gastric organoids. Because of these advances, searches for candidate genes (e.g., CTNNA1, MAP3K6) and our understanding of HDGC pathogenesis have improved in recent years; moreover, there have been substantial changes in the field since the current HDGC consensus guidelines were released. This review focuses on recent issues and advances in the study of HDGC. For example, lobular breast cancer cases and de novo occurrences of DGC are unlikely to meet the existing criteria for genetic testing, but current evidence indicates that some such cases may be good candidates for genetic testing. It is important to recognize that HDGC is a syndrome and that lobular breast cancer can be the first manifestation of this syndrome. CDH1 testing, including analyses of large genomic rearrangements, should be recommended even in countries where few HDGC cases have been reported.

Harati K, Slodnik P, Chromik AM, et al.
Pro‑apoptotic effects of pycnogenol on HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(4):1629-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Complete surgical resection with clear margins remains the mainstay of therapy for localised fibrosarcomas. Nevertheless, metastatic fibrosarcomas still represent a therapeutic dilemma. Commonly used chemotherapeutic agents like doxorubicin have proven to be effective in <30% of all cases of disseminated fibrosarcoma. Especially elderly patients with cardiac subdisease are not suitable for systemic chemotherapy with doxorubicin. Therefore we tested the apoptotic effects of the well-tolerated pine bark extract pycnogenol and its constituents on human fibrosarcoma cells (HT1080). Ten healthy subjects (six females, four males, mean age 24.8 ± 6 years) received a single dose of 300 mg pycnogenol orally. Blood plasma samples were obtained before and 6 h after intake of pycnogenol. HT1080 cells were treated with these plasma samples. Additionally, HT1080 were incubated separately with catechin, epicatechin and taxifolin that are known as the main constituents of pycnogenol. Vital, apoptotic and necrotic cells were quantified using flow cytometric analysis. Gene expression was analyzed by RNA microarray. The results showed that single application of taxifolin, catechin and epicatechin reduced cell viability of HT1080 cells only moderately. A single dose of 300 mg pycnogenol given to 10 healthy adults produced plasma samples that led to significant apoptotic cell death ex vivo whereas pycnogenol-negative serum displayed no apoptotic activity. Microarray analysis revealed remarkable expression changes induced by pycnogenol in a variety of genes, which are involved in different apoptotic pathways of cancer cells [Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), DUSP1, RHOA, laminin γ1 (LAMC1), fibronectin 1 (FN1), catenin α1 (CTNNA1), ITGB1]. In conclusion, metabolised pycnogenol induces apoptosis in human fibrosarcoma cells. Pycnogenol exhibits its pro-apoptotic activity as a mixture and is more effective than its main constituents catechin, epicatechin and taxifolin indicating that the metabolised components interact synergistically. These results provide experimental support for in vivo trials assessing the effect of the pine bark extract pycnogenol.

Donner I, Kiviluoto T, Ristimäki A, et al.
Exome sequencing reveals three novel candidate predisposition genes for diffuse gastric cancer.
Fam Cancer. 2015; 14(2):241-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer mortality. Three hereditary gastric cancer syndromes have been described; hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC), familial intestinal gastric cancer (FIGC) and gastric adenocarcinoma and proximal polyposis of the stomach (GAPPS). Thirty per cent of HDGC families have heterozygous germline mutations in CDH1, which encodes E-cadherin. A germline truncating mutation in the gene encoding α-E-catenin (CTNNA1) was also recently discovered in a family with HDGC, but no other genes specifically predisposing to gastric cancer have been identified, leaving the majority of cases showing familial aggregation without a known genetic cause. The aim of this study was to find the putative gastric cancer predisposing gene defect in a family with HDGC that had previously been tested negative for mutations in CDH1. In this family, there were six cases of diffuse gastric cancer in two generations. Exome sequencing was applied to two affected family members. The shared variants which were predicted deleterious in silico and could not be found in databases or in a control set of over 4,000 individuals were Sanger sequenced in a third family member. Three candidate variants were identified: p.Glu1313Lys in Insulin receptor (INSR), p.Arg81Pro in F-box protein 24 (FBXO24) and p.Pro1146Leu in DOT1-like histone H3K79 methyltransferase (DOT1L). These variants and adjacent regions were screened for in an additional 26 gastric cancer patients with a confirmed (n = 13) or suspected (n = 13) family history of disease, but no other non-synonymous mutations were identified. This study identifies INSR, FBXO24 and DOT1L as new candidate diffuse gastric cancer susceptibility genes, which should be validated in other populations. Of these genes, INSR is of special interest as insulin signaling was recently shown to affect tumor cell invasion capability by modulating E-cadherin glycosylation.

Lee B, Yoon K, Lee S, et al.
Homozygous deletions at 3p22, 5p14, 6q15, and 9p21 result in aberrant expression of tumor suppressor genes in gastric cancer.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015; 54(3):142-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Homozygous deletion is a frequent mutational mechanism of silencing tumor suppressor genes in cancer. Therefore, homozygous deletions have been analyzed for identification of tumor suppressor genes that can be utilized as biomarkers or therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. In this study, to elucidate potential tumor suppressor genes involved in gastric cancer (GC), we analyzed the entire set of large homozygous deletions in six human GC cell lines through genome- and transcriptome-wide approaches. We identified 51 genes in homozygous deletion regions of chromosomes and confirmed the deletion frequency in tumor tissues of 219 GC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas database. We evaluated the effect of homozygous deletions on the mRNA level and found significantly affected genes in chromosome bands 9p21, 3p22, 5p14, and 6q15. Among the genes in 9p21, we investigated the potential tumor suppressive effect of KLHL9. We demonstrated that ectopic expression of KLHL9 inhibited cell proliferation and tumor formation in KLHL9-deficient SNU-16 cell line. In addition, we observed that homozygous focal deletions generated truncated transcripts of TGFBR2, CTNNA1, and STXBP5. Ectopic expression of two kinds of TGFBR2-reverse GADL1 fusion genes suppressed TGF-β signaling, which may lead to the loss of sensitivity to TGF-β tumor suppressive activity. In conclusion, our findings suggest that novel tumor suppressor genes that are aberrantly expressed through homozygous deletions may play important roles in gastric tumorigenesis.

Pinheiro H, Oliveira C, Seruca R, Carneiro F
Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer - pathophysiology and clinical management.
Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2014; 28(6):1055-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer is an autosomal dominant inherited gastric cancer syndrome caused by germline alterations in CDH1 (E-cadherin) and CTNNA1 (alpha-E-catenin) genes. Germline CDH1 alterations encompass small frameshifts, splice-site, nonsense, and missense mutations, as well as large rearrangements. Most CDH1 truncating mutations are pathogenic, and several missense CDH1 mutations have a deleterious effect on E-cadherin function. CDH1 testing should be performed in probands. Screening of at-risk individuals is indicated from the age of consent following counselling with a multidisciplinary team. In mutation-positive individuals prophylactic gastrectomy is recommended. Endoscopic surveillance is an option for those refusing/postponing gastrectomy, those with mutations of undetermined significance, and in CDH1-negative families. Ongoing research focus on the search of genetic causes other than CDH1 or CTNNA1 germline defects; assessment of the pathogenicity and penetrance of CDH1 missense mutations and identification of somatic mechanisms behind the progression from early (indolent) lesions to invasive (lethal) carcinomas.

Chen XX, Lin J, Qian J, et al.
Methylation of CTNNA1 promoter: frequent but not an adverse prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2014; 38(5):613-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The reduced expression of CTNNA1 gene, a putative tumor suppressor gene, has been found in several cancers including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). CTNNA1 expression is regulated by methylation and histone deacetylation. However, the clinical significance of CTNNA1 methylation in AML is rarely known. The present study was aimed to investigate the methylation status of CTNNA1 promoter region using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and its clinical relevance in Chinese AML patients. Patients with CTNNA1 hypermethylation had significantly lower level of CTNNA1 transcript than those without CTNNA1 hypermethylation (P=0.031). The relationship of CTNNA1 methylation with clinical parameters was evaluated. Aberrant hypermethylation of CTNNA1 gene was found in 23.9% (37/155) AML cases. The status of CTNNA1 methylation was not correlated with the mutations of seven genes (FLT3-ITD, NPM1, C-KIT, IDH1/IDH2, DNMT3A, N/K-RAS and C/EBPA). There was no significant difference in the rates of complete remission (CR) between patients with and without CTNNA1 methylation. Although the overall survival (OS) time of the CTNNA1-methylated AML was shorter than that of CTNNA1-unmethylated group (6 months vs 9 months), the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.681). Our data suggest that CTNNA1 methylation is a recurrent event but has no influence on prognosis in AML.

Wu G, Liu H, He H, et al.
miR-372 down-regulates the oncogene ATAD2 to influence hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation and metastasis.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:107 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ATAD2 is associated with many cellular processes, such as cell growth, migration and invasion. However, no studies have been conducted on the molecular biological function of the ATAD2 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: The protein and mRNA level expression of ATAD2 was examined in tissues and cell lines. Prognostic significance was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier survival method and Cox regression. ATAD2 knockdown was used to analyze cell proliferation and invasion. The upstream and downstream of ATAD2 was analyzed by RT2 Profiler™ PCR array and luciferasex fluorescence system.
RESULTS: ATAD2 was highly expressed in liver cancer samples and correlated with poor survival. High ATAD2 expression was positively correlated with metastasis (P = 0.005) and was an independent prognostic factor in HCC (P = 0.001). ATAD2 depletion by RNA interference reduced their capacity for invasion and proliferation and led to a G1 phase arrest in vitro. Further study revealed that miR-372 was an upstream target of ATAD2 as miR-372 was bound directly to its 3' untranslated region (3' UTR). In addition, ATAD2 knockdown was found to extremely up-regulate APC expression and down-regulate CTNNA1 at the mRNA level.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings demonstrated that miR-372 suppressed the expression of ATAD2, which was highly expressed in HCC and exerted a proto-oncogene effect in hepatic carcinogenesis. In conclusion, ATAD2 may promote HCC progression.

Piao HL, Yuan Y, Wang M, et al.
α-catenin acts as a tumour suppressor in E-cadherin-negative basal-like breast cancer by inhibiting NF-κB signalling.
Nat Cell Biol. 2014; 16(3):245-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Basal-like breast cancer is a highly aggressive tumour subtype associated with poor prognosis. Aberrant activation of NF-κB signalling is frequently found in triple-negative basal-like breast cancer cells, but the cause of this activation has remained elusive.Here we report that α-catenin functions as a tumour suppressor in E-cadherin-negative basal-like breast cancer cells by inhibiting NF-κB signalling. Mechanistically, α-catenin interacts with the IκBα protein, and stabilizes IκBα by inhibiting its ubiquitylation and its association with the proteasome. This stabilization in turn prevents nuclear localization of RelA and p50, leading to decreased expression of TNF-α, IL-8 and RelB. In human breast cancer, CTNNA1 expression is specifically downregulated in the basal-like subtype, correlates with clinical outcome and inversely correlates with TNF and RELB expression. Taken together, these results uncover a previously undescribed mechanism by which the NF-κB pathway is activated in E-cadherin-negative basal-like breast cancer.

Sun Y, Shen S, Liu X, et al.
MiR-429 inhibits cells growth and invasion and regulates EMT-related marker genes by targeting Onecut2 in colorectal carcinoma.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2014; 390(1-2):19-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The 5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is approximately 55 % because of its invasion and metastasis. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one of the well-defined processes during the invasion and distant metastasis of primary epithelial tumors. miR-429, a member of the miR-200 family of microRNAs, was previously shown to inhibit the expression of transcriptional repressors ZEB1/delta EF1 and SIP1/ZEB2, and regulate EMT. In this study, we showed that miR-429 was significantly downregulated in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) tissues and cell lines. We found that miR-429 inhibited the proliferation and growth of CRC cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that miR-429 could play a role in CRC tumorigenesis. We also showed that downregulation of miR-429 may contribute to carcinogenesis and the initiation of EMT of CRC by targeting Onecut2. Further researches indicated that miR-429 inhibited the cells migration and invasion and reversed TGF-β-induced EMT changes in SW620 and SW480 cells. miR-429 could reverse the change of EMT-related markers genes induced by TGF-β1, such as E-cadherin, CTNNA1, CTNNB1, TFN, CD44, MMP2, Vimentin, Slug, Snail, and ZEB2 by targeting Onecut2. Taken together, our data showed that transcript factor Onecut2 is involved in the EMT, migration and invasion of CRC cells; miR-429 inhibits the initiation of EMT and regulated expression of EMT-related markers by targeting Onecut2; and miR-429 or Onecut2 is the important therapy target for CRC.

Sygut A, Przybyłowska K, Ferenc T, et al.
Genetic variations of the CTNNA1 and the CTNNB1 genes in sporadic colorectal cancer in Polish population.
Pol Przegl Chir. 2012; 84(11):560-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Experimental as well as clinical observations have demonstrated that the E-cadherin/catenin complex is a powerful inhibitor of invasion. Abrogation of this pathway is implicated in the carcinogenesis of several malignancies, especially colorectal cancer. The aim of the study was to determine the CTNNA1 and the CTNNB1 mutations and its relationship to clinical and pathological features of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) in Polish patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Paired tumor and normal tissue samples from 110 sporadic CRC patients undergoing resective surgery were prospectively studied for the alpha catenin (CTNNA1) gene and beta catenin (CTNNB1)gene mutations by PCR/single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP).
RESULTS: The CTNNA1 gene alteration in exon 7 were detected in 4 samples and in exon 3 of CTNNB1 gene were found in 3 samples. There was a trend at the limit of statistical significance associating younger age at diagnosis (<50) with CTNNA1 and the CTNNB1 mutations. The mutation of CTNNB1 seemed to occur more frequently in the proximal colon than distal. The CRC patients with CTNNA1 mutation had a significantly increased lymph node metastasis. On the other hand, there was no correlation between mutations and the other clinical variables (e.g. sex, grade and depth of invasion).
CONCLUSION: Although we found a low frequency of mutations in the CTNNA1 and the CTNNB1 genes, but the analysis the relationship with clinical and pathological features of CRC patients may indicated an association of these mutations with the risk and progression of CRC.

Majewski IJ, Kluijt I, Cats A, et al.
An α-E-catenin (CTNNA1) mutation in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
J Pathol. 2013; 229(4):621-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse gastric cancers typically present as late-stage tumours and, as a result, the 5 year survival rate is poor. Some gastric cancers are hereditary and these tend to be of the diffuse type; 30-40% of hereditary diffuse gastric cancers (HDGCs) can be explained by defective germline alleles of E-cadherin (CDH1), but for the remaining families the factors driving susceptibility remain unknown. We had access to a large HDGC pedigree with no obvious mutation in CDH1, and applied exome sequencing to identify new genes involved in gastric cancer. We identified a germline truncating allele of α-E-catenin (CTNNA1) that was present in two family members with invasive diffuse gastric cancer and four in which intramucosal signet ring cells were detected as part of endoscopic surveillance. The remaining CTNNA1 allele was silenced in the two diffuse gastric cancers from the family that were available for screening, and this was also true for signet ring cells identified in endoscopic biopsies. Since α-E-catenin functions in the same complex as E-cadherin, our results call attention to the broader signalling network surrounding these proteins in HDGC. We also detected somatic mutations in one tumour and found substantial overlap with genes mutated in sporadic gastric cancer, including PIK3CA, ARID1A, MED12 and MED23.

Craig DW, O'Shaughnessy JA, Kiefer JA, et al.
Genome and transcriptome sequencing in prospective metastatic triple-negative breast cancer uncovers therapeutic vulnerabilities.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(1):104-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by the absence of expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER-2. Thirty percent of patients recur after first-line treatment, and metastatic TNBC (mTNBC) has a poor prognosis with median survival of one year. Here, we present initial analyses of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing data from 14 prospective mTNBC. We have cataloged the collection of somatic genomic alterations in these advanced tumors, particularly those that may inform targeted therapies. Genes mutated in multiple tumors included TP53, LRP1B, HERC1, CDH5, RB1, and NF1. Notable genes involved in focal structural events were CTNNA1, PTEN, FBXW7, BRCA2, WT1, FGFR1, KRAS, HRAS, ARAF, BRAF, and PGCP. Homozygous deletion of CTNNA1 was detected in 2 of 6 African Americans. RNA sequencing revealed consistent overexpression of the FOXM1 gene when tumor gene expression was compared with nonmalignant breast samples. Using an outlier analysis of gene expression comparing one cancer with all the others, we detected expression patterns unique to each patient's tumor. Integrative DNA/RNA analysis provided evidence for deregulation of mutated genes, including the monoallelic expression of TP53 mutations. Finally, molecular alterations in several cancers supported targeted therapeutic intervention on clinical trials with known inhibitors, particularly for alterations in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways. In conclusion, whole genome and transcriptome profiling of mTNBC have provided insights into somatic events occurring in this difficult to treat cancer. These genomic data have guided patients to investigational treatment trials and provide hypotheses for future trials in this irremediable cancer.

Srivastava M, Khurana P, Sugadev R
Lung cancer signature biomarkers: tissue specific semantic similarity based clustering of digital differential display (DDD) data.
BMC Res Notes. 2012; 5:617 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The tissue-specific Unigene Sets derived from more than one million expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in the NCBI, GenBank database offers a platform for identifying significantly and differentially expressed tissue-specific genes by in-silico methods. Digital differential display (DDD) rapidly creates transcription profiles based on EST comparisons and numerically calculates, as a fraction of the pool of ESTs, the relative sequence abundance of known and novel genes. However, the process of identifying the most likely tissue for a specific disease in which to search for candidate genes from the pool of differentially expressed genes remains difficult. Therefore, we have used 'Gene Ontology semantic similarity score' to measure the GO similarity between gene products of lung tissue-specific candidate genes from control (normal) and disease (cancer) sets. This semantic similarity score matrix based on hierarchical clustering represents in the form of a dendrogram. The dendrogram cluster stability was assessed by multiple bootstrapping. Multiple bootstrapping also computes a p-value for each cluster and corrects the bias of the bootstrap probability.
RESULTS: Subsequent hierarchical clustering by the multiple bootstrapping method (α = 0.95) identified seven clusters. The comparative, as well as subtractive, approach revealed a set of 38 biomarkers comprising four distinct lung cancer signature biomarker clusters (panel 1-4). Further gene enrichment analysis of the four panels revealed that each panel represents a set of lung cancer linked metastasis diagnostic biomarkers (panel 1), chemotherapy/drug resistance biomarkers (panel 2), hypoxia regulated biomarkers (panel 3) and lung extra cellular matrix biomarkers (panel 4).
CONCLUSIONS: Expression analysis reveals that hypoxia induced lung cancer related biomarkers (panel 3), HIF and its modulating proteins (TGM2, CSNK1A1, CTNNA1, NAMPT/Visfatin, TNFRSF1A, ETS1, SRC-1, FN1, APLP2, DMBT1/SAG, AIB1 and AZIN1) are significantly down regulated. All down regulated genes in this panel were highly up regulated in most other types of cancers. These panels of proteins may represent signature biomarkers for lung cancer and will aid in lung cancer diagnosis and disease monitoring as well as in the prediction of responses to therapeutics.

Schuetz JM, Leach S, Kaurah P, et al.
Catenin family genes are not commonly mutated in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012; 21(12):2272-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately one third of the hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) families carry germline mutations in the E-cadherin gene (CDH1). Risk prediction in members of families with this rare but deadly cancer could be improved by the identification of additional HDGC genes in non-CDH1 families.
METHODS: Affected individuals from 22 CDH1 mutation-negative families were screened for germline mutations in four catenin genes: CTNNA1, CTNNB1, JUP, and CTNND1. Catenins interact closely with E-cadherin molecules in cells, and are therefore logical candidate genes for mutation screening in HDGC families.
RESULTS: No nonsynonymous variants were seen in CTNNA1, CTNNB1, or CTNND1; only JUP contained nonsynonymous variants, of which only two rare variants were predicted to be deleterious.
CONCLUSION: Catenin genes are not commonly mutated in non-CDH1 HDGC families.
IMPACT: Germline mutations in CTNNA1, CTNNB1, JUP, or CTNND1 are unlikely to play a major role in HDGC.

Morrogh M, Andrade VP, Giri D, et al.
Cadherin-catenin complex dissociation in lobular neoplasia of the breast.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 132(2):641-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
E-cadherin (E-CD) inactivation with loss of E-CD-mediated cell adhesion is the hallmark of lesions of the lobular phenotype. E-CD is typically absent by immunohistochemistry in both lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and invasive lobular lesions, suggesting it occurs early in the neoplastic process. In laboratory models, downstream post-transcriptional modifiers such as TWIST and SNAIL contribute to the dissociation of the intracellular component of the cadherin-catenin complex (CCC), resulting in tumor progression and invasion. We hypothesized that complete CCC dissociation may play a role in lobular neoplasia progression. Here we explore the relationship between loss of E-CD and dissociation of the CCC in pure LCIS and LCIS associated with invasive cancer. Fresh-frozen tissues were obtained from 36 patients undergoing mastectomy for pure LCIS (n = 11), LCIS with ILC (n = 18) or LCIS with IDC (n = 7). Individual lesions were subject to laser-capture microdissection and gene-expression analysis (Affymetrix HG-U133A 2.0). Immunohistochemistry for ER,PR,HER2, E-CD,N-CD,α-,β-, and phosphoβ-catenin, TWIST, and SNAIL were evaluated in normal, in situ, and invasive components from matched formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples (n = 36). CCC-dissociation was defined as negative membranous E-CD, α- and β-catenin expression. E-CD was negative in all LCIS and ILC lesions, and positive in all normal and IDC lesions. Membranous α and β-catenin expressions decreased with the transition from LCIS to ILC (pure LCIS 82%; LCIS w/ILC 28%; ILC 0%), while TWIST expression increased (pure LCIS low; LCIS w/ILC moderate; ILC high). Gene expression paralleled IHC-staining patterns with a stepwise downregulation of E-CD, α and β-catenins from normal to LCIS to invasive lesions, and increasing expression of TWIST from normal to LCIS to ILC. Loss of E-CD expression is an early event in lobular neoplasia. Decreasing membranous catenin expression in tandem with increasing levels of TWIST across the spectrum of lobular lesions suggests that CCC dissociation is a progressive process.

Coustan-Smith E, Song G, Clark C, et al.
New markers for minimal residual disease detection in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2011; 117(23):6267-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To identify new markers for minimal residual disease (MRD) detection in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we compared genome-wide gene expression of lymphoblasts from 270 patients with newly diagnosed childhood ALL to that of normal CD19⁺CD10⁺ B-cell progenitors (n = 4). Expression of 30 genes differentially expressed by ≥ 3-fold in at least 25% of cases of ALL (or 40% of ALL subtypes) was tested by flow cytometry in 200 B-lineage ALL and 61 nonleukemic BM samples, including samples containing hematogones. Of the 30 markers, 22 (CD44, BCL2, HSPB1, CD73, CD24, CD123, CD72, CD86, CD200, CD79b, CD164, CD304, CD97, CD102, CD99, CD300a, CD130, PBX1, CTNNA1, ITGB7, CD69, CD49f) were differentially expressed in up to 81.4% of ALL cases; expression of some markers was associated with the presence of genetic abnormalities. Results of MRD detection by flow cytometry with these markers correlated well with those of molecular testing (52 follow-up samples from 18 patients); sequential studies during treatment and diagnosis-relapse comparisons documented their stability. When incorporated in 6-marker combinations, the new markers afforded the detection of 1 leukemic cell among 10(5) BM cells. These new markers should allow MRD studies in all B-lineage ALL patients, and substantially improve their sensitivity.

Griffiths EA, Gore SD, Hooker CM, et al.
Epigenetic differences in cytogenetically normal versus abnormal acute myeloid leukemia.
Epigenetics. 2010; 5(7):590-600 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Methylation of tumor suppression genes (TSGs) is common in myeloid malignancies. However, application of this as a molecular marker for risk stratification in patients with AML is limited.
DESIGN AND METHODS: To elucidate the impact of patterns of TSG methylation on outcome in cytogenetically normal patients, 106 samples from patients with having normal cytogenetic AML were evaluated for methylation of 12 genes by MSP. For sake of comparison, samples from patients with AML and abnormal cytogenetics (n = 63) were also evaluated.
RESULTS: Methylation frequencies in the whole group (n = 169) were similar to previous reports for CDH1 (31%), ER (31%), FHIT (9%), p15 (INK4b) (44%), p73 (25%), and SOCS1 (75%). Methylation of CTNNA1 was observed in 10%, CEBP-α in16%, CEBP-δ in 2%, MLH1 in 24%, MGMT in 11% and DAPK in 2% of AML samples. We find that DNA methylation was more prevalent in patients with normal compared to karyotypically abnormal AML for most genes; CEBPα (20% vs 9%), CTNNA1 (14% vs 4%), and ER (41% vs 19%) (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). In contrast, p73 was more frequently methylated in patients with karyotypic abnormalities (17% vs 38%; p < 0.05), perhaps due to specific silencing of the pro-apoptotic promoter shifting p73 gene expression to the anti-apoptotic transcript. In AML patients with normal cytogenetics, TSG methylation was not associated with event free or overall survival in a multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with AML, TSG methylation is more frequent in patients with normal karyotype than those with karyotypic abnormalities but does not confer independent prognostic information for patients with normal cytogenetics.

Ding L, Ellis MJ, Li S, et al.
Genome remodelling in a basal-like breast cancer metastasis and xenograft.
Nature. 2010; 464(7291):999-1005 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies provide an unprecedented ability to screen entire genomes for genetic changes associated with tumour progression. Here we describe the genomic analyses of four DNA samples from an African-American patient with basal-like breast cancer: peripheral blood, the primary tumour, a brain metastasis and a xenograft derived from the primary tumour. The metastasis contained two de novo mutations and a large deletion not present in the primary tumour, and was significantly enriched for 20 shared mutations. The xenograft retained all primary tumour mutations and displayed a mutation enrichment pattern that resembled the metastasis. Two overlapping large deletions, encompassing CTNNA1, were present in all three tumour samples. The differential mutation frequencies and structural variation patterns in metastasis and xenograft compared with the primary tumour indicate that secondary tumours may arise from a minority of cells within the primary tumour.

Fu CT, Zhu KY, Mi JQ, et al.
An evolutionarily conserved PTEN-C/EBPalpha-CTNNA1 axis controls myeloid development and transformation.
Blood. 2010; 115(23):4715-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Loss of function of tumor suppressor genes, such as PTEN, CEBPAlpha, and CTNNA1 (encoding the alpha-catenin protein), has been found to play an essential role in leukemogenesis. However, whether these genes genetically interact remains largely unknown. Here, we show that PTEN-mammalian target of rapamycin signaling acts upstream to dictate the ratio of wild-type p42 C/EBPalpha to its dominant-negative p30 isoform, which critically determines whether p30 C/EBPalpha (lower p42/p30 ratio) or p42 C/EBPalpha (higher p42/p30 ratio) binds to the proximal promoter of the retained CTNNA1 allele. Binding of p30 C/EBPalpha recruits the polycomb repressive complex 2 to suppress CTNNA1 transcription through repressive H3K27me3 modification, whereas binding of p42 C/EBPalpha relieves this repression and promotes CTNNA1 expression through activating H3K4me3 modification. Loss of Pten function in mice and zebrafish induces myelodysplasia with abnormal invasiveness of myeloid progenitors accompanied by significant reductions in both wild-type C/EBPalpha and alpha-catenin protein. Importantly, frame-shift mutations in either PTEN or CEBPA were detected exclusively in the primary LICs with low CTNNA1 expression. This study uncovers a novel molecular pathway, PTEN-C/EBPalpha-CTNNA1, which is evolutionarily conserved and might be therapeutically targeted to eradicate LICs with low CTNNA1 expression.

Qian Z, Joslin JM, Tennant TR, et al.
Cytogenetic and genetic pathways in therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia.
Chem Biol Interact. 2010; 184(1-2):50-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia (t-MDS/t-AML) are late complications of cytotoxic therapy used in the treatment of malignant diseases. The most common subtype of t-AML ( approximately 75% of cases) develops after exposure to alkylating agents, and is characterized by loss or deletion of chromosome 5 and/or 7 [-5/del(5q), -7/del(7q)], and a poor outcome (median survival 8 months). In the University of Chicago's series of 386 patients with t-MDS/t-AML, 79 (20%) patients had abnormalities of chromosome 5, 95 (25%) patients had abnormalities of chromosome 7, and 85 (22%) patients had abnormalities of both chromosomes 5 and 7. t-MDS/t-AML with a -5/del(5q) is associated with a complex karyotype, characterized by trisomy 8, as well as loss of 12p, 13q, 16q22, 17p (TP53 locus), chromosome 18, and 20q. In addition, this subtype of t-AML is characterized by a unique expression profile (higher expression of genes) involved in cell cycle control (CCNA2, CCNE2, CDC2), checkpoints (BUB1), or growth (MYC), loss of expression of IRF8, and overexpression of FHL2. Haploinsufficiency of the RPS14, EGR1, APC, NPM1, and CTNNA1 genes on 5q has been implicated in the pathogenesis of MDS/AML. In previous studies, we determined that Egr1 acts by haploinsufficiency and cooperates with mutations induced by alkylating agents to induce myeloid leukemias in the mouse. To identify mutations that cooperate with Egr1 haploinsufficiency, we used retroviral insertional mutagenesis. To date, we have identified two common integration sites involving genes encoding transcription factors that play a critical role in hematopoiesis (Evi1 and Gfi1b loci). Of note is that the EVI1 transcription factor gene is deregulated in human AMLs, particularly those with -7, and abnormalities of 3q. Identifying the genetic pathways leading to t-AML will provide new insights into the underlying biology of this disease, and may facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets.

Ye Y, McDevitt MA, Guo M, et al.
Progressive chromatin repression and promoter methylation of CTNNA1 associated with advanced myeloid malignancies.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(21):8482-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Complete loss or deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5 is frequent in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The putative gene(s) deleted and responsible for the pathogenesis of these poor prognosis hematologic disorders remain controversial. This study is a comprehensive analysis of previously implicated and novel genes for epigenetic inactivation in AML and MDS. In 146 AML cases, methylation of CTNNA1 was frequent, and more common in AML patients with 5q deletion (31%) than those without 5q deletion (14%), whereas no methylation of other 5q genes was observed. In 31 MDS cases, CTNNA1 methylation was only found in high-risk MDS (>or=RAEB2), but not in low-risk MDS (

Shi WD, Meng ZQ, Chen Z, et al.
Identification of liver metastasis-related genes in a novel human pancreatic carcinoma cell model by microarray analysis.
Cancer Lett. 2009; 283(1):84-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer with liver metastases has a poor prognosis and the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, SW1990HM, a highly metastatic human pancreatic carcinoma line was subcloned from SW1990 by intrasplenic injection. In vivo and in vitro tumorigenicity, metastatic potential, in vitro invasion, cell growth curves, plate efficiency and S-phase cell numbers were higher in SW1990HM cells. Gene expression profiles of SW1990HM and SW1990 cells showed 40 metastasis-related genes expressed with a 3-fold difference. Thirteen of these 32.5% (13/40) were adhesion and extracellular-matrix related and twelve 30% (12/40) were cell growth and proliferation related, such as MMP10, MMP9, MMP7, CDH1, MGAT5, CTNNA1, IGF1, IL8RB, ITGA7, MDM2, MET, SSTR2 and VEGF, which were related to the onset and progression of tumor metastasis. Thus, SW1990HM is an attractive model to study metastasis and identify potential therapeutic targets.

Mrózek K
Cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and clinical characteristics of acute myeloid leukemia with a complex karyotype.
Semin Oncol. 2008; 35(4):365-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring three or more acquired chromosome aberrations in the absence of the prognostically favorable t(8;21)(q22;q22), inv(16)(p13q22)/t(6;16)(p13;q22), and t(15;17)(q22;q21) aberrations form a separate category - AML with a complex karyotype. They constitute 10% to 12% of all AML patents, with the incidence of complex karyotypes increasing with the more advanced age. Recent studies using molecular-cytogenetic techniques (spectral karyotyping [SKY], multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization [M-FISH]) and array comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) considerably improved characterization of previously unidentified, partially identified, or cryptic chromosome aberrations, and allowed precise delineation of genomic imbalances. The emerging nonrandom pattern of abnormalities includes relative paucity, but not absence, of balanced rearrangements (translocations, insertions, or inversions), predominance of aberrations leading to loss of chromosome material (monosomies, deletions, and unbalanced translocations) that involve, in decreasing order, chromosome arms 5q, 17p, 7q, 18q, 16q, 17q, 12p, 20q, 18p, and 3p, and the presence of recurrent, albeit less frequent and often hidden (in marker chromosomes and unbalanced translocations) aberrations leading to overrepresentation of segments from 8q, 11q, 21q, 22q, 1p, 9p, and 13q. Several candidate genes have been identified as targets of genomic losses, for example, TP53, CTNNA1, NF1, ETV6, and TCF4, and amplifications, for example, ERG, ETS2, APP, ETS1, FLI1, MLL, DDX6, GAB2, MYC, TRIB1, and CDX2. Treatment outcomes of complex karyotype patients receiving chemotherapy are very poor. They can be improved to some extent by allogeneic stem cell transplantation in younger patients. It is hoped that better understanding of genomic alterations will result in identification of novel therapeutic targets and improved prognosis in patients with complex karyotypes.

Liu TX, Becker MW, Jelinek J, et al.
Chromosome 5q deletion and epigenetic suppression of the gene encoding alpha-catenin (CTNNA1) in myeloid cell transformation.
Nat Med. 2007; 13(1):78-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interstitial loss of all or part of the long arm of chromosome 5, or del(5q), is a frequent clonal chromosomal abnormality in human myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, a preleukemic disorder) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of these diseases by deleting one or more tumor-suppressor genes. Although a major commonly deleted region (CDR) has been delineated on chromosome band 5q31.1 (refs. 3-7), attempts to identify tumor suppressors within this band have been unsuccessful. We focused our analysis of gene expression on RNA from primitive leukemia-initiating cells, which harbor 5q deletions, and analyzed 12 genes within the CDR that are expressed by normal hematopoietic stem cells. Here we show that the gene encoding alpha-catenin (CTNNA1) is expressed at a much lower level in leukemia-initiating stem cells from individuals with AML or MDS with a 5q deletion than in individuals with MDS or AML lacking a 5q deletion or in normal hematopoietic stem cells. Analysis of HL-60 cells, a myeloid leukemia line with deletion of the 5q31 region, showed that the CTNNA1 promoter of the retained allele is suppressed by both methylation and histone deacetylation. Restoration of CTNNA1 expression in HL-60 cells resulted in reduced proliferation and apoptotic cell death. Thus, loss of expression of the alpha-catenin tumor suppressor in hematopoietic stem cells may provide a growth advantage that contributes to human MDS or AML with del(5q).

Zhou YN, Xu CP, Chen Y, et al.
Alpha-catenin expression is decreased in patients with gastric carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2005; 11(22):3468-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To assess the expression of alpha-catenin in gastric carcinoma and to determine the role of alpha-catenin expression in gastric carcinogenesis.
METHODS: alpha-catenin expression was assessed by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining in 49 gastric carcinomas, 26 adjacent non-cancerous mucosae, and gastric biopsy specimens from 11 healthy controls.
RESULTS: mRNA levels of alpha-catenin were reduced or absent in 34 of 49 (69%) gastric carcinoma tissues and in 5 of 26 (19%) tumor-free gastric mucosae of carcinoma patients, respectively. Of the carcinoma samples with altered alpha-catenin mRNA levels, alpha-catenin expression was negative in 20 and decreased in 14 cases. Up to 69% of tumors were stained abnormally for alpha-catenin. Of the 34 cases whose mRNA expression of alpha-catenin was reduced, 32 (94%) showed abnormal immunostaining patterns, while only 2 showed a normal alpha-catenin expression. The frequency of reduced expression of alpha-catenin mRNA was 14% in well-differentiated carcinomas, higher than that in poorly differentiated carcinomas (86%). A significant correlation was not shown between alpha-catenin expression and both depth of invasion and lymph node metastasis. Moreover, there was no statistical difference between loss or down-regulation of alpha-catenin mRNA and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of alpha-catenin expression is common in gastric carcinoma, and alpha-catenin expression may be used as a differentiation marker. Downregulation of alpha-catenin expression may be an early event in tumorigenesis. Reduced alpha-catenin expression is not correlated with H. pylori infection.

Kato Y, Hirano T, Yoshida K, et al.
Frequent loss of E-cadherin and/or catenins in intrabronchial lesions during carcinogenesis of the bronchial epithelium.
Lung Cancer. 2005; 48(3):323-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inactivation of the cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion system is believed to play a role in the initial steps of cancer invasion and metastasis. Expression of E-cadherin and its intracytoplasmic binding molecules (alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin) was examined immunohistochemically in 84 cases of intrabronchial precancerous lesions (bronchial squamous metaplasia (BSM) without atypia, BSM with atypia, dysplasia), and 21 cases of carcinoma in situ, and 4 cases of microinvasion to the bronchial wall, and 32 cases of stage I well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma) to investigate the association between expression of E-cadherin and/or catenins and cancer progression. Reduced expression of E-cadherin and/or catenins was closely correlated with an atypical grade of dysplasia in the basal layer (p<0.05). In particular, downregulation of E-cadherin and/or catenins was associated with an atypical grade of BSM with atypia in intrabronchial lesions (p<0.01). We conclude that downregulation of alpha-catenin and/or beta-catenin, which may reflect dysfunction of the cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion system, is an important marker for atypical grade during carcinogenesis of the bronchial epithelium.

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