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The expression and tyrosine phosphorylation of E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complex, and focal adhesion kinase in invasive cervical carcinomas
  1. H.-S. Moon*,
  2. W. I. Park,
  3. E.-A. Choi*,
  4. H.-W. Chung* and
  5. S.-C. Kim*
  1. * Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ewha Womans University, College of Medicine, and Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea
  2. Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Eulji University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  1. Address correspondence and reprint request to: Hye-Sung Moon, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ewha Womans University, Mok Dong Hospital, 911-1 Mok Dong Yang Cheon Ku, Seoul, 158-710, Korea. Email: mhsmhs{at}


The present study aimed to confirm the hypothesis that the expression and phosphorylation status of the E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complex is related to cervical carcinogenesis and cervical cancer invasion, and to investigate the expression and the tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and its relation with E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complex. The expression of E-cadherin, α- and β-catenin, and FAK were studied by a western blot analysis with 26 cervical carcinomas, nine normal cervices, and five carcinomas in situ of cervix. The tyrosine phosphorylation of α- and β-catenin and FAK were examined by an immunoprecipitation. The expressions of α- and β-catenin and E-cadherin were reduced in cervical carcinoma, and the tyrosine phosphorylation of α- and β-catenin in cervical carcinoma was higher than in normal cervix and carcinoma in situ of cervix. Tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK was elevated in cervical carcinoma although the expression of FAK was not significantly different. Moreover, α- and β-catenin were coimmunoprecipitated with FAK. We conclude that the loss of E-cadherin/catenin proteins and the tyrosine phosphorylation of E-cadherin/catenin are involved in cervical carcinogenesis and cancer invasion. Tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase is also related to the cervical cancer invasion. The E-cadherin/catenin complex and FAK may be related functionally and structurally.

  • catenin
  • cervical cancer
  • E-cadherin
  • focal adhesion kinase

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  • This work was supported by Korea Research Foundation Grant (KRF-2000–003-F00168).