Alterations of tumor cell interactions with laminin, a basement membrane glycoprotein, are consistent features of the invasive and metastatic phenotype. Qualitative and quantitative changes in the expression of cell surface laminin-binding proteins have been correlated with the ability of cancer cells to cross basement membranes during the metastatic cascade. Such phenotypic modifications are usually associated with poor prognosis. In this study, the authors examined the possibility that expression of three laminin- binding proteins, the 67-kD laminin receptor (67LR), galectin-l, and galectin-3, is altered in human endometrial cancer in a fashion similar to that reported in other carcinomas, such as breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. Twenty advanced uterine adenocarcinomas were analyzed for expression of these three molecules using immunoperoxidase staining and specific antibodies. The authors found a significant increase in the expression of the 67LR and galectin-1 in cancer cells compared with normal adjacent endometrium (P = .0004 and .0022, respectively). As observed in other carcinomas, a significant down-regulation of galectin-3 expression was found in endometrial cancer cells compared with normal mucosa (P = .02). In the galectin-3 positive tumors, galectin-3 was detected in the cytoplasm and/or nucleus of cancer cells. Interestingly, tumors in which galectin-3 was detected only in the cytoplasm were characterized by deeper invasion of the myometrium than lesions where galectin-3 was found both in nucleus and cytoplasm (P = .02). This study shows an alteration of nonintegrin laminin-binding protein expression in advanced human endometrial cancer. Further studies on larger populations should determine the prognostic value of the detection of these laminin-binding proteins in endometrial carcinoma. Inverse modulation of the 67LR and galectin-3 appears to be a phenotypical feature of invasive carcinoma.
- laminin-binding proteins
- uterine adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine