Objective: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed to identify genes that
were differentially expressed between normal thyroid tissue and papillary thyroid carcinoma
Materials and Methods: Six candidate genes were selected and further confirmed with quantitative
real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry in samples from 24
fresh thyroid tumors and adjacent normal tissues. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes
(KEGG) pathway analysis was used to investigate signal transduction pathways of the
differentially expressed genes.
Results: In total, 1690 genes were differentially expressed between samples from patients with
PTC and the adjacent normal tissue. Among these, SFRP4, ZNF90, and DCN were the top three
upregulated genes, whereas KIRREL3, TRIM36, and GABBR2 were downregulated with the
smallest p values. Several pathways were associated with the differentially expressed genes and
involved in cellular proliferation, cell migration, and endocrine system tumor progression, which
may contribute to the pathogenesis of PTC. Upregulation of SFRP4, ZNF90, and DCN at the
mRNA level was further validated with RT-PCR, and DCN expression was further confirmed with
immunostaining of PTC samples.
Conclusion: These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of PTC. Identification
of differentially expressed genes should not only improve the tumor signature for thyroid tumors as a
diagnostic biomarker but also reveal potential targets for thyroid tumor treatment.