The expression profiles of the galectin gene family in primary and metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma with particular emphasis on galectin-1 and galectin-3 expression
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Introduction Galectin family members have been demonstrated to be abnormally expressed in cancer at the protein and mRNA level. This study investigated the levels of galectin proteins and mRNA expression in a large cohort of patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma and matched lymph node metastases with particular emphasis on galectin-1 and galectin-3. Methods mRNA expression of galectin family members (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12) were analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction in 65 papillary thyroid carcinomas, 30 matched lymph nodes with metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma and 5 non-cancer thyroid tissues. Galectin-1 and 3 protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in these samples. Results Significant expression differences in all tested galectin family members (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12) were noted for mRNA in papillary thyroid carcinomas, with and without lymph node metastasis. Galectin-1 protein was more strongly expressed than galectin-3 protein in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Galectin-1 protein was found to be overexpressed in 32% of primary papillary thyroid carcinomas. A majority of lymph nodes with metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma (53%) had significantly increased expression of galectin-1 protein, as did 47% of primaries with metastases. Galectin-1 mRNA levels were decreased in the vast majority (94%) of primary thyroid carcinomas that did not have metastases present. Galectin-3 protein levels were noted to be overexpressed in 15% of primary papillary thyroid carcinomas. In primary papillary thyroid carcinoma with lymph node metastases, 32% had over expression of galectin-3 protein. Overexpression of galectin-3 mRNA was noted in 58% of papillary thyroid carcinomas and 64% of lymph nodes bearing metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma. Also, primary papillary thyroid carcinoma with lymph node metastases had significantly higher expression of galectin-3 mRNA compared to those without lymph node metastases. Conclusion Galectin family members show altered expression at the mRNA level in papillary thyroid cancers. Overexpression of galectin-1 and 3 proteins were noted in papillary thyroid carcinoma with lymph node metastases. The results presented here demonstrated that galectin-1 and galectin-3 expression have important roles in clinical progression of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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