Dysadherin expression as a significant prognostic factor and as a determinant of histologic features in synovial sarcoma: Special reference to its inverse relationship with E-cadherin expression

Teiyu Izumi, Yoshinao Oda, Tadashi Hasegawa, Yukihiro Nakanishi, Akira Kawai, Hiroshi Sonobe, Tomonari Takahira, Chikashi Kobayashi, Hidetaka Yamamoto, Sadafumi Tamiya, Setsuo Hirohashi, Yukihide Iwamoto, Masazumi Tsuneyoshi

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Dysadherin is a cancer-associated cell membrane glycoprotein, which down-regulates E-cadherin and promotes metastasis. Synovial sarcoma is a very rare mesenchymal tumor that exhibits an epithelial profile. To confirm the diagnosis of synovial sarcoma, we evaluated several immunohistochemical markers, or detected SYT-SSX fusion gene transcript. We studied the clinicopathologic features in 92 synovial sarcoma patients and also assessed the immunohistochemical expression of dysadherin and E-cadherin to examine their possible association with histologic subtype and biologic behavior. Moreover, among 30 patients, for whom frozen materials were available, dysadherin mRNA expression was examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis. Dysadherin-positive expression was significantly correlated with E-cadherin-reduced expression (P=0.0004). Dysadherin-positive immunostaining was diffusely observed in the membranes of tumor cells in 30/68 (44%) patients with monophasic fibrous type and in 1/2 (50%) patients with poorly differentiated type. However, in biphasic tumors, dysadherin expression in the fibrous component was not diffusely observed, but often sporadically or focally observed [20/22 (91%) patients]. In addition, dysadherin mRNA expression in monophasic fibrous type was significantly higher than in biphasic type (P=0.0079). Synovial sarcoma patients with dysadherin expression survived for a significantly shorter time than those without dysadherin expression (P=0.0006). Patients with combined dysadherin-positive expression and E-cadherin-reduced expression had a significantly worse prognosis than those with other combinations of dysadherin and E-cadherin expression (P=0.0007). SYT-SSX fusion gene transcript was detected in 39 patients. In our series, SYT-SSX fusion type was found to have no correlation with histologic subtype, prognosis, or dysadherin expression. In multivariate analysis, dysadherin immunopositivity (P=0.0411) was an independent adverse prognostic factor, in addition to a high MIB-1 labeling index (≥10%). We conclude that E-cadherin dysfunction by dysadherin is associated with reduced E-cadherin expression and morphologic change from epithelioid to spindle phenotype. Dysadherin expression is considered to be one of the determinants of histologic subtype in synovial sarcoma. Moreover, dysadherin expression is an excellent and independent prognostic indicator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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