RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Immunolocalization of beta-catenin in pleomorphic adenomas and carcinomas ex-pleomorphic adenomas of salivary glands.

Beta-catenin plays a central role in cadherin/catenin cell-cell adhesion complex and is involved in cell signaling pathway. Change in beta-catenin distribution has been associated with several human cancers including salivary gland tumors. We studied the immunolocalization of beta-catenin in a series of pleomorphic adenomas (PA) and carcinomas ex-pleomorphic adenomas (Ca ex-PA). Ten samples of PA and ten of Ca ex-PA were evaluated by immunohistochemistry using streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase technique and a monoclonal antibody against beta-catenin (E-5). Cell membrane/cytoplasmic staining of beta-catenin was observed in normal gland parenchyma, PA, and in well-differentiated Ca ex-PA. Cytoplasmic/nuclear beta-catenin staining was observed in poorly differentiated carcinomas and, interestingly, in one case of PA. Our data showed decreased cell membrane beta-catenin expression in higher-grade tumors suggesting that beta-catenin may play an important role in histologic differentiation and transition to malignant phenotype of Ca ex-PA.

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