Comprehensive MicroRNA expression profiling identifies novel markers in follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma

Dettmer, Matthias; Perren, Aurel; Moch, Holger; Komminoth, Paul; Nikiforov, Yuri E.; Nikiforova, Marina N. (2013). Comprehensive MicroRNA expression profiling identifies novel markers in follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Thyroid, 23(11), pp. 1383-1389. Mary Ann Liebert 10.1089/thy.2012.0632

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Follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) shares features of papillary (PTC) and follicular (FTC) thyroid carcinomas on a clinical, morphological, and genetic level. MicroRNA (miRNA) deregulation was extensively studied in PTCs and FTCs. However, very limited information is available for FVPTC. The aim of this study was to assess miRNA expression in FVPTC with the most comprehensive miRNA array panel and to correlate it with the clinicopathological data.


Forty-four papillary thyroid carcinomas (17 FVPTC, 27 classic PTC) and eight normal thyroid tissue samples were analyzed for expression of 748 miRNAs using Human Microarray Assays on the ABI 7900 platform (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA). In addition, an independent set of 61 tumor and normal samples was studied for expression of novel miRNA markers detected in this study.


Overall, the miRNA expression profile demonstrated similar trends between FVPTC and classic PTC. Fourteen miRNAs were deregulated in FVPTC with a fold change of more than five (up/down), including miRNAs known to be upregulated in PTC (miR-146b-3p, -146-5p, -221, -222 and miR-222-5p) and novel miRNAs (miR-375, -551b, 181-2-3p, 99b-3p). However, the levels of miRNA expression were different between these tumor types and some miRNAs were uniquely dysregulated in FVPTC allowing separation of these tumors on the unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis. Upregulation of novel miR-375 was confirmed in a large independent set of follicular cell derived neoplasms and benign nodules and demonstrated specific upregulation for PTC. Two miRNAs (miR-181a-2-3p, miR-99b-3p) were associated with an adverse outcome in FVPTC patients by a Kaplan-Meier (p < 0.05) and multivariate Cox regression analysis (p < 0.05).


Despite high similarity in miRNA expression between FVPTC and classic PTC, several miRNAs were uniquely expressed in each tumor type, supporting their histopathologic differences. Highly upregulated miRNA identified in this study (miR-375) can serve as a novel marker of papillary thyroid carcinoma, and miR-181a-2-3p and miR-99b-3p can predict relapse-free survival in patients with FVPTC thus potentially providing important diagnostic and predictive value.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Dettmer, Matthias and Perren, Aurel


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Mary Ann Liebert




Andrea Arnold

Date Deposited:

02 Apr 2014 15:50

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:



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