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Endothelial cadherins in cancer

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Cadherins are cell adhesion receptors that play important roles in embryogenesis and tissue homoeostasis. Endothelial cells express various members of the cadherin superfamily, in particular vascular endothelial (VE-) cadherin, which is the main adhesion receptor of endothelial adherens junctions and neural (N-) cadherin, which is normally localized outside the junctions and may mediate adhesion between endothelial cells and non-endothelial cells. Dysregulation of cadherin expression has been implicated in tumor progression, in particular the loss of epithelial (E-) cadherin expression or function and the gain of N-cadherin. Moreover, more recently, aberrant expression of VE-cadherin was observed in certain cancer types. In breast carcinoma, VE-cadherin was shown to promote tumor cell proliferation and invasion through enhancing TGF-β signaling. Thus, in breast cancer, the cadherin switch involves another player, vascular endothelial cadherin, which is part of an intricate interplay of classical cadherins in breast cancer progression.

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Correspondence to Georg Breier.

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Breier, G., Grosser, M. & Rezaei, M. Endothelial cadherins in cancer. Cell Tissue Res 355, 523–527 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-014-1851-7

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  • Cadherin
  • Vascular endothelial (VE-) cadherin
  • Neural (N-) cadherin
  • Epithelial (E-) cadherin
  • Breast cancer