BMC cancer

Clusterin transcript variants expression in thyroid tumor: a potential marker of malignancy?

PMID 25934174


Clusterin (CLU) is a ubiquitous multifunctional factor involved in neoplastic transformation. The CLU transcript variants and protein forms play a crucial role in balancing cells proliferation and death. We investigated the regulation of CLU transcript variants expression in an in vivo model system consisting of both neoplastic tissues and fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) samples isolated from patients undergoing thyroidectomy. The immunohistochemical analyses showed an overall CLU up-regulation in papillary carcinoma. A specific CLU2 transcript variant increase was registered using qPCR in papillary carcinomas while CLU1 decreased. In addition, the analysis of CLU transcripts expression level showed an increase of the CLU2 transcript in the TIR 3 patients with histologically confirmed thyroid cancer. Our results suggest the existence of a specific alteration of CLU2:CLU1 ratio towards CLU2, thus providing the first circumstantial evidence for the potential use of CLU transcript variants as effective biomarkers for a more accurate assessment of the so called "indeterminate" thyroid nodules.