The cadherin-catenin superfamily in endocrine tumors

Shuho Semba, Mitsunori Yamakawa, Hironobu Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


It has been well-known that the cadherin-catenin complexes bind with intracellular skeleton actin, which result in stabilization of cellular structure and tissue organization. Therefore, the cadherin-catenin family has been considered prerequisite for normal cell function and the preservation of tissue integrity. In human malignancies especially colon cancers, dysfunction and/or decrease of expression of these proteins have been proposed to prevent differentiation of tumors and to increase invasiveness and poor prognosis. However, recent studies also revealed that a member of this superfamily, β-catenin, may play an important role in Wnt/wingless intracellular signaling pathway. Decreased expression of this protein or somatic mutation of the β-catenin gene has been also reported in human carcinomas including various endocrine tumors. Mutant β-catenin is associated with abnormal nuclear accumulation in tumor cells and subsequently to activate other transcription factors such as Tcf/Lef. This activation eventually results in which upregulation of mRNA and protein levels of various cell growth mediators in these endocrine tumors. Therefore, dysfunction of the cadherin-catenin system is considered to be closely correlated with tumorigenesis and development in human endocrine tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEndocrine Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1


  • Cadheri-ctenin superfamily
  • E-cadherin
  • Endocrine tumors
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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