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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2011;4(8):755-64. Epub 2011 Oct 30.

Immunohistochemical expressions of fatty acid synthase and phosphorylated c-Met in thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Thyroid carcinoma is the most common endocrine malignancy and the first cause of death among endocrine cancers. Fatty acid synthase (FASN) and c-Met are overexpressed in many types of human cancers. Recent studies have suggested a functional interaction between FASN and c-Met. However, their roles in thyroid carcinomas have not been fully investigated. In this study, we evaluated the expressions of FASN and phosphorylated (p)-c-Met by using immunohistochemistry in thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin, from 32 patients. The adjacent non-neoplastic thyroid tissue was also evaluated for comparison. Immunoreactive intensity and extensiveness were semi-quantified. The overexpression of FASN was observed in a subset of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) including the classical type and tall cell, follicular, trabecular/insular and diffuse sclerosing variants, a subset of follicular thyroid carcinomas (FTC), and the PTC and FTC components in anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC). No overexpression was observed in the ATCs per se and the columnar cell, solid, and cribriform variants of PTCs. All Hürthle cell variant FTCs and non-neoplastic Hürthle cells demonstrated positive staining for FASN while the non-neoplastic follicular cells without Hürthle cell change were negative. An association in overexpression between FASN and p-c-Met was observed in the majority of carcinomas as well as in the non-neoplastic Hürthle cells. In conclusion, overexpressions of FASN and p-c-Met were observed in a subset of thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin, which may be of values for targeted therapy and predicting prognosis while the positive immunostaining for these immunomarkers may be nonspecific for Hürthle cell thyroid carcinomas.


C-Met; fatty acid synthase; immunohistochemistry; thyroid carcinoma

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