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Role of Cadherins in Cancer—A Review

Department of Small Animal Diseases, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Pathology and Veterinary Diagnostics, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Carnivore Reproduction Study Center, Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d’Alfort, 94700 Maison Alfort, France
Department of Preclinical Sciences, Institute of Veterinary Medicine; Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Center for Integrative Mammalian Research, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, BOX 334 Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7624;
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 10 October 2020 / Accepted: 12 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Activations of Cadherin Signaling in Cancer)
Cadherins play an important role in tissue homeostasis, as they are responsible for cell-cell adhesion during embryogenesis, tissue morphogenesis, differentiation and carcinogenesis. Cadherins are inseparably connected with catenins, forming cadherin-catenin complexes, which are crucial for cell-to-cell adherence. Any dysfunction or destabilization of cadherin-catenin complex may result in tumor progression. Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a mechanism in which epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) expression is lost during tumor progression. However, during tumorigenesis, many processes take place, and downregulation of E-cadherin, nuclear β-catenin and p120 catenin (p120) signaling are among the most critical. Additional signaling pathways, such as Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), Rho GTPases, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Hippo affect cadherin cell-cell adhesion and also contribute to tumor progression and metastasis. Many signaling pathways may be activated during tumorigenesis; thus, cadherin-targeting drugs seem to limit the progression of malignant tumor. This review discusses the role of cadherins in selected signaling mechanisms involved in tumor growth. The clinical importance of cadherin will be discussed in cases of human and animal cancers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cadherin; cancer signaling; cell-cell adhesion; cancer progression cadherin; cancer signaling; cell-cell adhesion; cancer progression
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaszak, I.; Witkowska-Piłaszewicz, O.; Niewiadomska, Z.; Dworecka-Kaszak, B.; Ngosa Toka, F.; Jurka, P. Role of Cadherins in Cancer—A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 7624.

AMA Style

Kaszak I, Witkowska-Piłaszewicz O, Niewiadomska Z, Dworecka-Kaszak B, Ngosa Toka F, Jurka P. Role of Cadherins in Cancer—A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(20):7624.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kaszak, Ilona, Olga Witkowska-Piłaszewicz, Zuzanna Niewiadomska, Bożena Dworecka-Kaszak, Felix Ngosa Toka, and Piotr Jurka. 2020. "Role of Cadherins in Cancer—A Review" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 20: 7624.

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