Koay M H E, Crook M & Stewart C J R
Cyclin D1, E-cadherin and beta-catenin expression in FIGO Stage IA cervical squamous carcinoma: diagnostic value and evidence for epithelial–mesenchymal transition
Aims: Immunohistochemistry is helpful in distinguishing cervical neoplastic lesions from their histological mimics, but has contributed less towards the sometimes problematic distinction of in-situ and superficially invasive tumours. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) may be a mechanism of invasion in cervical neoplasia and expression of EMT-associated proteins could prove useful in this diagnostic setting.
Methods and results: Immunohistochemical expression of cyclin D1, E-cadherin and beta-catenin was assessed in 22 biopsy specimens from FIGO Stage IA cervical squamous carcinomas, all of which also included foci of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 3, nine biopsies of CIN 3 adjacent to carcinoma, and 10 cases of CIN 3 only. Most invasive tumour cells expressed cyclin D1 and showed a reduction in E-cadherin and beta-catenin staining. Nuclear beta-catenin expression was not observed. Cyclin D1 staining was reduced or showed altered distribution in most cases of CIN 3, while adhesion protein expression generally was preserved. However, altered protein expression similar to that of invasion was seen in some CIN lesions.
Conclusions: Most superficially invasive cervical squamous carcinomas show immunophenotypical changes consistent with EMT. These alterations, particularly cyclin D1 expression, may be useful diagnostically. Similar changes in CIN 3 lesions may indicate the acquisition of increased invasive potential.