Molecular characteristics in papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) with no 131I uptake

Caterina Mian, Susi Barollo, Gianmaria Pennelli, Nicodemo Pavan, Massimo Rugge, Maria Rosa Pelizzo, Renzo Mazzarotto, Dario Casara, Davide Nacamulli, Franco Mantero, Giuseppe Opocher, Benedetto Busnardo, Maria Elisa Girelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) with no iodine uptake have an aggressive behaviour and a poor prognosis. The aim of our study was to characterize, at molecular level, a subset of PTC with no 131 iodine ( 131I) uptake. Design and methods: Forty-eight cancer tissues were divided into three groups: Group 1, 28 primary cancers; Group 2, 7 recurrences capable of trapping 131I; and Group 3, 13 recurrences incapable of trapping 131I. mRNA levels of thyroid genes (sodium/iodide symporter NIS, thyroglobulin, thyroperoxidase and pendrin) and glycolytic metabolism genes (GLUT-1, hexokinase I and II) and BRAF mutations were evaluated in the different groups. Results: Cancers with no 131I uptake had slightly reduced NIS, significantly reduced thyroglobulin (P <0.01), thyroperoxidase (P = 0.01) and pendrin (P = 0.03) and significantly increased GLUT-1 (P = 0.01) gene expression levels; and a high frequency of BRAF mutations (77%). BRAF V600E mutation, in both primary and metastatic thyroid cancers, is associated with a marked drop in thyroperoxidase (29-fold) and pendrin (20-fold) expression and a considerable increase (five-fold) in GLUT-1 expression. Conclusions: (1) The loss of 131I uptake in recurrences depends not only on a decrease in NIS gene, but possibly on a reduction in the molecules regulating its intracellular metabolism; (2) the high GLUT-1 gene expression supports the use of positron emission tomography with specific tracers in clinical management of such cancers; and (3) BRAF V600E point mutations may lead to less differentiated phenotypes, suggesting a worse prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular characteristics in papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) with no 131I uptake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this