Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 1997 Sep;16(3):325-32.

Oncogenes and antioncogenes involved in human thyroid carcinogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Experimental Medicine and Pathology, Rome, Italy.


The development of cancer is due to the accumulation of multiple somatic mutations, in some cases following germline mutations, which occur in hereditary malignancies such as retinoblastomas or multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN 2A and B). Genetic alterations or changes in the expression of growth regulatory genes can lead to the initiation of malignant transformation and to eventual tumor progression. Cells that have undergone these cumulative alterations in either the structure or expression of these regulatory genes generally possess a selective growth and/or metastatic advantage over other normal non-transformed cells. Thus, activation of dominantly transforming oncogenes by point mutations, gene amplification, chromosomal translocation or insertional mutagenesis can lead to uncontrolled cellular growth or to a disruption in normal differentiation or apoptosis. Equally contributory to the process of malignant progression is the inactivation of recessive tumor suppressor genes due to point mutations and/or loss of heterozygosity in one allele, which can ultimately lead to a reduction of homozygosity in both alleles. Thyroid tumors in humans represent a particularly suitable multistage model of epithelial tumorigenesis. In fact, even though most thyroid neoplasms originate from a single cell type, i.e. the thyroid follicular cell, they include a broad spectrum of tumors with different phenotypic characteristics and variable biological and clinical behaviour. Multiple degrees of malignancies have been defined: from the benign colloid adenomas through the slowly progressive differentiated papillary and follicular carcinomas to the invariably fatal anaplastic carcinomas, although these histological changes are not necessarily sequential. In this review an effort has been made to summarize and integrate new data published on genetic lesions and altered expression of genes involved in the tumorigenesis of the follicular type of thyroid cancer. We have focused our interest only on gene alterations inducing gain or loss of function, that have been studied in vivo in human thyroid tumor specimens by the use of different techniques, such as PCR mediated DNA analyses, sequencing, mRNA level evaluation and protein expression by immunohistochemical staining.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center