Cadherin expression in glandular tumors of the cervix: Aberrant P-cadherin expression as a possible marker of malignancy

Aaron C. Han*, Mitchell I. Edelson, Alejandro Peralta Soler, Karen A. Knudsen, Beatriz Lifschitz-Mercer, Bernard Czernobilsky, Norman G. Rosenblum, Hernando Salazar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The cadherins are homotypic adhesion proteins that are important in cell sorting during organogenesis. Classic cadherins include several different types that show tissue specific expression. Specific tissue expression of cadherins often is preserved in neoplastic transformation, and cadherin phenotype can be used to differentiate morphologically similar but histogenetically distinct tumors. METHODS. The authors examined by using immunohistochemistry in paraffin sections the expression of E- (epithelial) and P- (placental) cadherin in 39 patients with glandular tumors of the cervix, including invasive adenocarcinoma, villoglandular adenocarcinoma, adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), and adenoma malignum. RESULTS. In all cases, E-cadherin was expressed in both normal and malignant glands without appreciable differences. P-cadherin, normally confined to basal epithelial cells and not observed in benign glands, was aberrantly expressed in neoplastic glands in 27 cases, including 96%(23 of 24 cases) of invasive cancers, 40% (2 of 5) of villoglandular carcinomas, 25% (2 of 8) of AIS, and 0% (0 of 2) of adenoma malignum. CONCLUSIONS. The authors' results show that E-cadherin is uniformly expressed in glandular tumors of the cervix with no evidence of decreased expression in these tumors. In addition, P-cadherin is aberrantly expressed in most adenocarcinomas and appears to be preferentially expressed in invasive rather than in situ lesions. Thus, aberrant expression of P-cadherin may be a useful marker of invasive or aggressive clinical behavior in glandular lesions of the cervix. (C) 2000 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2053-2058
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadherins
  • Cervical adenocarcinoma

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