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© Research
Publication : Oncogene

Activation of beta-catenin in epithelial and mesenchymal hepatoblastomas

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Oncogene - 27 Jan 2000

Wei Y, Fabre M, Branchereau S, Gauthier F, Perilongo G, Buendia MA

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10698519

Oncogene 2000 Jan;19(4):498-504

Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is frequently activated in cancer cells by stabilizing mutations of beta-catenin or loss-of-function mutations of the APC tumor suppressor gene. We have analysed the role of beta-catenin in the pathogenesis of hepatoblastoma (HB), an embryonic liver tumor occurring mainly in children under 2 years of age. Sequence analysis of the beta-catenin NH2-terminal domain in 18 epithelial and mixed HBs revealed missense mutations in the GSK3beta phosphorylation motif or interstitial deletions in 12 tumors (67%). In the remaining cases, no truncating mutation of APC could be evidenced. Immunohistochemical analysis of beta-catenin in 11 HBs demonstrated nuclear/cytoplasmic accumulation of the protein in all tumors analysed, with predominant nuclear beta-catenin immunostaining in undifferentiated cells. Membranous beta-catenin localization was preserved only in fetal-type tumoral hepatocytes and was associated with E-cadherin expression. Moreover, we show that beta-catenin is aberrantly overexpressed in a large spectrum of tumor components, including hepatocyte-like cells at various differentiation stages and heterologous elements such as squamous, osteoid and chrondroid tissues, and in occasional other mesenchymally-derived cells. These data strongly suggest that activation of beta-catenin signaling is an obligatory step in HB pathogenesis, and raise the possibility that it interferes with developmental signals that specify different tissue types at early stages of hepatic differentiation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10698519