Cancer Res Treat.  2004 Feb;36(1):56-61.

Reduced Expression of E-cadherin in Human Non-small Cell Lung Carcinoma

  • 1Department of Pathology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Chungnam, Korea.


E-cadherin, a calcium-dependent cell to cell adhesion molecule, plays a key role in the maintenance of tissue integrity. Reduction or loss of E-cadherin has been reported to have a role in the development of human malignancies. The expression of E-cadherin was analyzed in human non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) to elucidate the role in pulmonary carcinogenesis and determine the relationship with several clinicopathological factors and the prognosis.
Sixty five human cases of NSCLC were evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis for the expression of E-cadherin. The immunostaining results for E-cadherin were semiquantitatively interpreted, as preserved and reduced, in the tumor tissues. The E-cadherin expression was analyzed in relation to several clinicopathological data and the survival. The cell proliferation index of the tumors was evaluated by immunostaining with the Ki-67 antigen. RESULTS: Reduced E-cadherin expression was found in 51 cases of NSCLC tissues (78.4%) compared to that in the normal controls. Reduced E-cadherin expression was significantly correlated with male smokers and squamous cell type of the cancer, but not with histological grade, TNM stage and survival. The E-cadherin expression showed a weak inverse relationship with the proliferative activity of tumor cells, which was measured using the Ki-67 antigen. CONCLUSION: Our data support the hypothesis that reduced E-cadherin expression may play a role in the pathogenesis of human NSCLC, which might be associated with the control for cell proliferation.


E-cadherin; Non-small cell lung carcinoma; Ki-67 antigen
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