A prospective immunohistochemical study using E-cadherin and Ncadherin to depict cadherin switch in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Zaneta Ivy D’Souza
Jagdish V. Tupkari
Tabita Joy
Doney Rathi
Saurabh R. Nagar
Vini Mehta
Ganga Jadhav


Cadherin, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Epithelial-Cadherin, Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Introduction: A decreased expression of E-cadherin and increased expression of N- cadherin, called 'cadherin switch,' promotes an invasive oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) aggressive behavior. We conducted the following immunohistochemical study to evaluate whether there was a switch in the cadherin expression in OSCC and provide data for its future prognostic predictions.
Methods: Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks of 30 diagnosed cases of OSCC and 30 normal tissue were prospectively selected from the Department of Oral Pathology and subjected to immunohistochemical staining of E-cadherin and N-cadherin to study the presence of cadherin switch. Results: Cadherin switch was seen in 11 oral squamous cell carcinoma cases. All samples of the control group were negative for cadherin switch. There was also a statistically significant difference in the N- cadherin expression in the normal control group and OSCC group. Conclusion: The findings of our study suggest that a switch from E-cadherin to N-cadherin occurs in OSCC and could play an important role in conferring an invasive and aggressive behavior to OSCC. However, its role in determining the prognosis of OSCC could not be justified.

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