Stains
p120 catenin

Author: Cameron E. Neely, M.D. (see Authors page)
Senior Author: Xiaoxian (Bill) Li, M.D.
Editorial Board Member Review: Emily S. Reisenbichler, M.D.
Editor-in-Chief Review: Debra Zynger, M.D.

Revised: 12 November 2018, last major update September 2018

Copyright: (c) 2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: p120 catenin[title] pathology
Cite this page: Neely CE, Li X. p120 catenin. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/stainsp120.html. Accessed December 12th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • p120 catenin (along with α, β and γ catenins) connects the transmembrane protein E-cadherin to the actin cytoskeleton in the cell cytoplasm (Histopathology 2016;68:57)
Essential features
Pathophysiology
Interpretation
Uses by pathologists
Prognostic factors
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Debra Zynger, M.D.

Atypical lobular hyperplasia

Lobular carcinoma in situ


Invasive lobular carcinoma

Invasive ductal carcinoma



Images hosted on other servers:

E-cadherin, p120 catenin
and their cocktail in
ductal carcinoma in situ

E-cadherin, p120 catenin
and their cocktail in
lobular carcinoma in situ

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - tumors
Negative staining - normal
  • p120 catenin is generally not completely negative
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Not detected by FISH, PCR or any other molecular methods
Board review question #1
Which of the following immunoprofiles is most consistent with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast?

  1. GATA3-, CK7-, E-cadherin-, p120 catenin diffuse cytoplasmic
  2. GATA3+, CK7+, E-cadherin+, p120 catenin strong membranous
  3. GATA3+, CK7+, E-cadherin-, p120 catenin strong membranous
  4. GATA3+, CK7+, E-cadherin+, p120 catenin diffuse cytoplasmic
Board review answer #1
B. GATA3+, CK7+, E-cadherin+, p120 catenin strong membranous. E-cadherin positivity and strong membranous p120 catenin staining are consistent with ductal carcinoma. Diffuse cytoplasmic p120 catenin staining and absence of E-cadherin would be consistent with lobular carcinoma.
Board review question #2
A p120 immunostain of a breast proliferation is shown. What is the most likely diagnosis?



  1. Atypical ductal hyperplasia
  2. Atypical lobular hyperplasia
  3. Invasive ductal carcinoma
  4. Invasive lobular carcinoma
Board review answer #2
B. Atypical lobular hyperplasia

Comment Here