Loss of β-catenin expression associated with disease progression in malignant melanoma
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2001
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 145, Issue 2, pages 210–216, August 2001
How to Cite
Kageshita, T., Hamby, C.V., Ishihara, T., Matsumoto, K., Saida, T. and Ono, T. (2001), Loss of β-catenin expression associated with disease progression in malignant melanoma. British Journal of Dermatology, 145: 210–216. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2001.04336.x
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2001
- Accepted for publication 12 April 2001
- disease progression;
- malignant melanoma
Background β-catenin plays a crucial role in the function of cell adhesion molecules and also participates in growth regulatory signalling pathways that may be involved in malignant transformation.
Objectives To examine β-catenin expression in lesions of melanocytic origin for associations with clinicopathological markers of disease progression and for its significance as a predictor of disease recurrence and prognosis.
Methods β-catenin expression was examined by immunoperoxidase staining in 50 melanocytic naevi and 91 primary and 50 metastatic melanomas.
Results β-catenin was expressed in 96% of melanocytic naevi, in 94% and 65%, respectively, of radial and vertical growth phase primary melanomas, and in 38% of metastatic melanomas. Benign and malignant melanocytic lesions had distinct patterns of β-catenin localization. Most lesions expressing β-catenin exhibited cytoplasmic staining; however, over 40% of benign lesions also displayed nuclear staining, which was present only in 10% of primary and 15% of metastatic melanomas. Absent or weak expression of β-catenin in primary melanomas was associated with several markers of disease progression, including tumour thickness and presence of lymph node metastases. A similar but not statistically significant trend was observed for the association of β-catenin expression with disease recurrence and prognosis.
Conclusions These results suggest that loss or downregulation of β-catenin expression in melanoma cells plays a significant role in progression of the disease.