Expression of mutant nuclea β-catenin correlates with non-invasive hepatolocellular carcinoma, absence of portal vein spread, and good prognosis

Tsui Lien Mao, Jan Show Chu, Yung Ming Jeng, Po Lin Lai, Hey Chi Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

β-catenin has functions both in the cadherin-mediated cell adhesion system and in the signalling pathway that mediates dorsal axis patterning in the embryo; it has been shown to be aberrantly expressed or mutated in diverse types of human tumour, but the biological significance of this remains to be clarified. To elucidate the clinical implications of aberrant β-catenin expression and the potential differences between mutant and wild-type β-catenin protein expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the protein expression was analysed by immunohistochemical staining, supplemented by the analysis of gene mutation. Among 372 unifocal primary HCCs, β-catenin was detected in the tumour cell membrane alone in 272 tumours (group A) and also in the nuclei in 100 (group B). In group A, 148 tumours had decreased β-catenin expression, but the reduction did not correlate with invasion or prognosis. When compared with group A, however, group B had significantly lower frequencies of hepatitis B surface antigen carrier (p=0.015), and α-fetoprotein elevation (p=0.0003), but more often had non-invasive HCC (p<0.001) and better survival (p=0.01). Nuclear β-catenin expression strongly correlated with mutation of the gene (p<0.00001). In group B, HCC with mutant nuclear β-catenin correlated positively with non-invasive (stage 1) tumour and inversely with portal vein tumour thrombi (stage 3 HCC), and had significantly better 5-year survival, p<0.001 and p<0.0003, respectively. These results suggest that β-catenin mutation plays an important role in the tumourigenesis of a subset of HCC of good prognosis, and that mutant and wild-type nuclear β-catenin proteins are not functionally equivalent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pathology
Volume193
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Tumour invasion
  • β-Catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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