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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Dec 18;98(26):15044-9.

Gene expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma reveals highly consistent profiles.

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  • 1Human Cancer Genetics Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Pathology, Divisions of Sensory Biophysics and Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is clinically heterogeneous. Apart from an association with ionizing radiation, the etiology and molecular biology of PTC is poorly understood. We used oligo-based DNA arrays to study the expression profiles of eight matched pairs of normal thyroid and PTC tissues. Additional PTC tumors and other tissues were studied by reverse transcriptase-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The PTCs showed concordant expression of many genes and distinct clustered profiles. Genes with increased expression in PTC included many encoding adhesion and extracellular matrix proteins. Expression was increased in 8/8 tumors for 24 genes and in 7/8 tumors for 22 genes. Among these genes were several previously known to be overexpressed in PTC, such as MET, LGALS3, KRT19, DPP4, MDK, TIMP1, and FN1. The numerous additional genes include CITED1, CHI3L1, ODZ1, N33, SFTPB, and SCEL. Reverse transcriptase-PCR showed high expression of CITED1, CHI3L1, ODZ1, and SCEL in 6/6 additional PTCs. Immunohistochemical analysis detected CITED1 and SFTPB in 49/52 and 39/52 PTCs, respectively, but not in follicular thyroid carcinoma and normal thyroid tissue. Genes underexpressed in PTC included tumor suppressors, thyroid function-related proteins, and fatty acid binding proteins. Expression was decreased in 7/8 tumors for eight genes and decreased in 6/8 tumors for 19 genes. We conclude that, despite its clinical heterogeneity, PTC is characterized by consistent and specific molecular changes. These findings reveal clues to the molecular pathways involved in PTC and may provide biomarkers for clinical use.

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