Cadherins and cancer: How does cadherin dysfunction promote tumor progression?

A. Jeanes, C. J. Gottardi, A. S. Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

589 Scopus citations


It has long been recognized that the cell-cell adhesion receptor, E-cadherin, is an important determinant of tumor progression, serving as a suppressor of invasion and metastasis in many contexts. Yet how the loss of E-cadherin function promotes tumor progression is poorly understood. In this review, we focus on three potential underlying mechanisms: the capacity of E-cadherin to regulate β-catenin signaling in the canonical Wnt pathway; its potential to inhibit mitogenic signaling through growth factor receptors and the possible links between cadherins and the molecular determinants of epithelial polarity. Each of these potential mechanisms provides insights into the complexity that is likely responsible for the tumor-suppressive action of E-cadherin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6920-6929
Number of pages10
Issue number55
StatePublished - Nov 24 2008


  • Cell polarity
  • E-cadherin
  • Growth factor receptor
  • Metastasis
  • Wnt
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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