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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

P-cadherin overexpression is an indicator of clinical outcome in invasive breast carcinomas and is associated with CDH3 promoter hypomethylation.

PURPOSE: P-cadherin overexpression has been reported in breast carcinomas, where it was associated with proliferative high-grade histological tumors. This study aimed to analyze P-cadherin expression in invasive breast cancer and to correlate it with tumor markers, pathologic features, and patient survival. Another purpose was to evaluate the P-cadherin promoter methylation pattern as the molecular mechanism underlying this gene regulation. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using a series of invasive breast carcinomas, P-cadherin expression was evaluated and correlated with histologic grade, estrogen receptor, MIB-1, and p53 and c-erbB-2 expression. In order to assess whether P-cadherin expression was associated with changes in CDH3 promoter methylation, we studied the methylation status of a gene 5'-flanking region in these same carcinomas. This analysis was also done for normal tissue and for a breast cancer cell line treated with a demethylating agent. RESULTS: P-cadherin expression showed a strong correlation with high histologic grade, increased proliferation, c-erbB-2 and p53 expression, lack of estrogen receptor, and poor patient survival. This overexpression can be regulated by gene promoter methylation because the 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment of MCF-7/AZ cells increased P-cadherin mRNA and protein levels. Additionally, we found that 71% of P-cadherin-negative cases showed promoter methylation, whereas 65% of positive ones were unmethylated (P = 0.005). The normal P-cadherin-negative breast epithelial cells showed consistent CDH3 promoter methylation. CONCLUSIONS: P-cadherin expression was strongly associated with tumor aggressiveness, being a good indicator of clinical outcome. Moreover, the aberrant expression of P-cadherin in breast cancer might be regulated by gene promoter hypomethylation.[1]


  1. P-cadherin overexpression is an indicator of clinical outcome in invasive breast carcinomas and is associated with CDH3 promoter hypomethylation. Paredes, J., Albergaria, A., Oliveira, J.T., Jerónimo, C., Milanezi, F., Schmitt, F.C. Clin. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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