Impact of E-cadherin expression pattern in melanocytic nevi and cutaneous malignant melanoma.
ABSTRACT To explore the relationship between the immunohistochemical expression of E-cadherin and the relevant clinicopathologic features in various types of melanocytic nevi and cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM).
Using standard immunohistochemical techniques, we examined 30 CMMs, 30 melanocytic nevi and 10 sex- and age-matched volunteers for the expression of E-cadherin.
A total of 90% of melanocytic nevi and all dysplastic nevi showed positive cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for E-cadherin with decreased intensity at the deeply located cells. A significant difference was noticed between types of CMM regarding the pattern of immunostaining of E-cadherin (p < 0.01), whereas all nodular malignant melanomas (NMMs) express the membranous pattern in contrast to the cytoplasmic one in other types of CMM. Reduced overall survival was significantly associated with advanced stage, late Clark level and membranous pattern of E-cadherin expression.
E-cadherin expression in nevi is related to the degree of melanocytic maturation. Qualitative changes in the expression and cellular localization of E-cadherin are observed in melanoma that may reflect different stages of progression with molecular changes and may imply a prognostic marker.