Cadherins down-regulation: towards a better understanding of their relevance in colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Losi L, et al. Histol Histopathol 2020 - Review.


The down-regulation of cadherin expression in colorectal cancer (CRC) has been widely studied. However, existing data on cadherin expression are highly variable and its relevance to CRC development has not been completely established. This review examines published studies on cadherins whose down-regulation has been already demonstrated in CRC, trying to establish a relationship with promoter methylation, the capacity to influence the Wnt / CTNNB1 (catenin beta 1, beta-catenin) signalling

pathway and the clinical implications for disease outcome. Moreover, it also analyses factors that may explain data variability and highlights the importance of considering the altered subcellular localization of the examined cadherins. The results of this survey reveal that thirty of one hundred existing cadherins appear to be down-regulated in CRC. Among these, ten are cadherins, sixteen are protocadherins, equally divided between clustered and non clustered, and four are cadherin - related. These findings suggest that, to better define the role played by cadherin down-regulation in CRC pathogenesis, the expression of multiple rather than individual cadherins should be taken into account and further functional studies are necessary to clarify the relative ability of individual cadherins to inhibit CTNNB1 therefore acting as tumor suppressors.