Beta catenin

Topic Completed: 1 August 2015

Revised: 4 March 2019

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: beta catenin[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 11,632
Page views in 2019 to date: 11,103
Cite this page: Pernick N. Beta catenin. website. Accessed October 16th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Part of Wnt signalling pathway, highly conserved pathway with critical role in embryologic development (Dev Cell 2009;17:9), carcinogenesis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Upon Wnt activation, β catenin is translocated from membrane (where it interacts with E-cadherin) to cytoplasm and nucleus, where it interacts with transcriptional activators
Clinical features
  • Mutations and overexpression of β catenin are associated with various carcinomas
  • Colon: plays a critical role in tumorigenesis (mutations in APC or β catenin present in 90% of colon cancers)
  • Thyroid: pathway important for anaplastic and possibly papillary thyroid carciomas (Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2012;3:31)
  • Uterus: endometrioid endometrial carcinoma is associated with β catenin mutations
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Cadherins and catenins in signal transduction

Role of β catenin in cell

Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Bladder: urothelial carcinoma and adenocarcinoma

Colon: serrated adenoma

Colon: normal and carcinoma

Liver: hepatoblastoma

Liver: metastatic
colorectal carcinoma
in sentinel lymph
node and liver

Soft tissue: liposarcoma

Soft tissue: solitary fibrous tumor

Synovial sarcoma

Positive staining - normal
  • Fibroblasts and endothelial cells (cytoplasmic-membranous staining)
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
  • GIST, sclerosing mesenteritis, low grade fibromyxoid sarcoma, myofibroblastic or fibroblastic tumors
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