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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 357187, 8 pages
Review Article

Cadherin Cell Adhesion System in Canine Mammary Cancer: A Review

1Centro de Ciência Animal e Veterinária (CECAV), Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), 5001-911 Vila Real, Portugal
2Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
3Medical Faculty, University of Porto, 4200 Porto, Portugal

Received 16 April 2012; Accepted 15 July 2012

Academic Editor: Kazim Sahin

Copyright © 2012 Adelina Gama and Fernando Schmitt. 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.


Cadherin-catenin adhesion complexes play important roles by providing cell-cell adhesion and communication in different organ systems. Abnormal expression of cadherin adhesion molecules constitutes a common phenomenon in canine mammary cancer and has been frequently implicated in tumour progression. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on cadherin/catenin adhesion molecules (E-cadherin, β-catenin, and P-cadherin) in canine mammary cancer, focusing on the putative biological functions and clinical significance of these molecules in this disease. This paper highlights the need for further research studies in this setting in order to elucidate the role of these adhesion molecules during tumour progression and metastasis.