E-, P-, and N-cadherin are Co-expressed in the nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line TW-039

Pei Jen Lou, Wen Pin Chen, Chin Tarng Lin, Robert M. DePhilip, Jiahn Chun Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The cadherin/catenin complex plays a key role in the initiation of cell- cell recognition, and adhesion, and the elaboration of structural and functional organization in multicellular tissues and organs. It is associated with tumor metastasis and also acts as an 'invasion suppressor' of cancer cells. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is notorious for its highly metastatic nature. The expression of the E-cadherin/catenin complex is down-regulated in NPC tumor specimens. To obtain better insight into the intercellular adhesive property of NPC cells, we used immunofluorescence microscopy, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblot analysis to examine the expression of the classical cadherins and β-catenin in a NPC cell line, TW-039. The results demonstrate a change in the distribution of E-cadherin from cytosolic flakes to cell-cell contacts with increasing time in culture. Between days 1 and 5 after plating, the detergent-insoluble fraction of E-cadherin increased from 20% to 37% of total E-cadherin, and that for P-cadherin increased from 33% to 40%. By contrast, the values for β-catenin remained unchanged (26% and 25%). Both immunofluorescence and immunoblot studies suggested that P-cadherin may be involved in pioneer contact adhesion of TW-039 cells. Interestingly, E-, P-, and N-cadherin are co-expressed in this cell line. Immunoprecipitation studies also showed that other members of the cadherin family may be involved in the contact adhesion of TW-039 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Cadherin
  • Immunoblot
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • β-catenin


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