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Am J Surg Pathol. 2005 Apr;29(4):544-9.

MET receptor tyrosine kinase sequence alterations in differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

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Department of Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


Activating mutations affecting the MET receptor tyrosine kinase are present in several types of human cancer, particularly in papillary renal cell carcinoma. Papillary thyroid carcinomas commonly express high levels of MET mRNA and protein, suggesting that increased MET signaling may be of importance in the molecular pathogenesis of differentiated thyroid carcinoma. To evaluate the role of MET mutations in thyroid carcinoma, we screened MET exons 2 to 21 for mutations in sporadic papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas using denaturing high-performance chromatography. A missense MET sequence alteration T1010I, located in exon 14 encoding for the juxtamembrane domain of MET, was found in 6 (6%) of the 104 thyroid carcinomas examined, whereas all 92 goiter samples had wild-type exon 14 (P = 0.031). Three (6%) of the 53 papillary, 2 (10%) of the 21 follicular, 1 (8%) of the 13 medullary, and none of the 17 anaplastic carcinomas studied had MET(T1010I). Four of the 6 T1010I sequence alterations were present also in the germline. MET protein expression showed no apparent association with the presence of MET(T1010I), and the clinical features of the patients with cancer with MET(T1010I) were similar to those of patients whose cancer did not harbor MET(T1010I). We conclude that MET(T1010I) sequence alteration is relatively frequent in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. The clinical and the molecular pathologic significance of this MET sequence alteration is not known.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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