The Role of an 80 kDa Fragment of E-cadherin in the Metastatic Progression of Prostate Cancer

Rainer Kuefer, Matthias D. Hofer, Juergen E. Gschwend, Kenneth J. Pienta, Martin G. Sanda, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Mark A. Rubin, Mark L. Day*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an 80 kDa proteolytic fragment of E-cadherin as a potential biomarker for prostate cancer progression and to identify putative proteases that are responsible for the cleavage of E-cadherin. Experimental Design: A wide spectrum of prostate cancer tissue and serum specimens representing different stages of prostate cancer was examined for the accumulation of the 80 kDa fragment of E-cadherin. Additionally, an expression array analysis was used to identify putative proteases that may have been involved in the cleavage of E-cadherin. Results: A reproducible E-cadherin fragment was detected as a strong 80 kDa band in tissue samples. This fragment was detectable almost exclusively in metastatic sites. It was not visible in normal prostate tissue and was weak in 1 of 16 localized prostate cancers. The fragment is shed into the extracellular space and was detectable in patient serum in which the expression of the fragment showed a strong association with advanced prostate cancer. On the basis of cDNA expression analysis, several members of the metalloproteinase family could be identified as potentially responsible for the cleavage of the fragment from full-length E-cadherin. Conclusions: In this study, we present the first report of serum levels of the 80 kDa fragment of E-cadherin in prostate cancer patients. This fragment is exclusively seen in neoplastic prostate tissue and may represent a useful biomarker of prostate cancer disease progression. This study also demonstrates an association of increased levels of several metalloproteinases with metastatic prostate cancer and could provide a useful correlation between metalloproteinase expression/activity and E-cadherin cleavage and the metastatic progression of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6447-6452
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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