, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 163-173

Differential Expression of miRNAs in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Compared to Multinodular Goiter Using Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissues

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microRNAs (miRNAs) are approximately 22 nt RNAs that negatively regulate target gene expression. Their dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of human cancers, including papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Whereas previous studies using microarray technologies have largely relied on the ability to procure fresh tissue at the time of surgery to characterize miRNA signatures in PTC, we exploited the ability to procure sufficient miRNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue to describe a series of miRNAs whose expression is dysregulated in PTC compared to benign proliferative multinodular goiter (MNG). We identified 13 miRNAs upregulated and 26 miRNAs downregulated in PTC versus MNG. These include miRNA-21, miRNA-31, miRNA-221, and miRNA-222. Their dysregulation was further validated by real time RT-PCR analysis in an independent set of FFPE tissues. Many of these have previously been described in fresh tissue studies as altered in PTC, confirming the utility of this approach. These results further highlight the applicability of miRNA expression patterns as potential markers of human cancer, and our results suggest that FFPE tissues are suitable resources for such miRNA expression analyses. The ability to utilize FFPE tissue in the molecular characterization of human malignancy will unlock a rich resource for future cancer studies.