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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2010, Article ID 616023, 7 pages
Clinical Study

The Prognostic Impact of Protein Expression of E-Cadherin-Catenin Complexes Differs between Rectal and Colon Carcinoma

1Faculty Division Akershus University Hospital, University of Oslo, 1474 Nordbyhagen, Norway
2Department of Digestive Surgery, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Loerenskog, Norway
3Department of Pathology, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Loerenskog, Norway
4Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Forskningsveien 3A, 0373 Oslo, Norway
5Norwegian Unit for Patient Safety, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Box 7004 St.Olavsplass, 0130 Oslo, Norway
6Department of Health Promotion, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Loerenskog, Norway

Received 9 February 2010; Revised 15 June 2010; Accepted 6 July 2010

Academic Editor: Robert Odze

Copyright © 2010 Rolf Aamodt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The E-cadherin-catenin complex provides cell-cell adhesion. In order for a carcinoma to metastasize, cancer cells must let go of their hold of neighboring cells in the primary tumor. The presence of components of the E-cadherin-catenin complex in 246 rectal adenocarcinomas was examined by immunohistochemistry and compared to their presence in 219 colon carcinomas. The expression data were correlated to clinical information from the patients' records. There were statistically significant differences in protein expression between the rectal and the colon carcinomas regarding membranous 𝛽 -catenin, 𝛾 -catenin, p120-catenin, and E-cadherin, as well as nuclear 𝛽 -catenin. In the rectal carcinomas, there was a significant inverse association between the expression of p120-catenin in cell membranes of the primary tumors and the occurrence of local recurrence, while membranous protein expression of 𝛽 -catenin was inversely related to distant metastases.