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Oncogene. 1992 Jul;7(7):1331-7.

Detection of the PTC/retTPC oncogene in human thyroid cancers.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


We have investigated the PTC/retTPC oncogene, an activated form of ret proto-oncogene with a specific rearrangement, in thyroid malignancies. Southern analysis was used to screen 36 thyroid papillary carcinomas (PC), 22 normal thyroid tissues from glands with PC elsewhere, three follicular carcinomas, eight follicular adenomas and 30 other non-malignant thyroids. Rearrangements were detected in four PCs (11%) using probes derived from the ret proto-oncogene. Genomic breakpoints from a PC and a PC cell line (TPC-1) were cloned and sequenced. The rearrangement points of ret proto-oncogene were found in the intron between the exon for the transmembrane domain and the first exon for the tyrosine kinase domain. Furthermore, the PTC/retTPC chimeric transcripts were detected in two PCs with the rearrangement by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Distant metastases were present in 50% (2/4) of PCs with the rearrangement, but in only two out of 32 PCs without a detectable rearrangement (P = 0.05, Fisher exact test). Our study suggests that the rearrangement of the ret proto-oncogene may be involved in the development of distant metastases in patients with papillary thyroid carcinomas. However, a larger clinical study will be required to verify this observation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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