(searched for: doi:10.1056/nejm196008042630513)
Published: 11 June 2003
Oncogene, Volume 22, pp 3680-3684; https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1206415
Dupuytren's disease (DD) is a superficial fibromatosis of the hand. Although the molecular mechanisms responsible for this disease are unknown, recent studies suggest that beta-catenin may be a key factor involved in fibromatosis. In this study, we analysed the in vivo and in vitro expression levels of beta-catenin in DD, using surgical specimens and primary cell lines. Although no somatic mutations (exon 3) of beta-catenin were detected, Western blot analysis revealed high levels of beta-catenin in diseased palmar fascia, and low to undetectable levels of beta-catenin in patient-matched normal palmar fascia. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed high levels of beta-catenin expression within the disease fascia, as well as cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulations of the protein. Immunoprecipitation of beta-catenin from seven patient lesions showed the protein to be tyrosine phosphorylated. Lastly, Western analysis of three patient-matched (disease and normal fascia) primary cell cultures showed significantly elevated levels of beta-catenin in disease cells cultured in three-dimensional collagen lattices. This is the first extensive in vivo and in vitro characterization of beta-catenin in DD, and the first to suggest that the extracellular matrix may play an important role in modulating beta-catenin stability in DD.