Objective: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed to identify genes that were differentially expressed between normal thyroid tissue and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
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.
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