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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2011;4(8):755-764

Original Article
Immunohistochemical expressions of fatty acid synthase and phosphorylated c-Met in
thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin

Jing Liu, Robert E Brown

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, Houston, TX

Received September 30, 2011; accepted October 25, 2011; Epub October 30, 2011; Published November 30, 2011

Abstract: Thyroid carcinoma is the most common endocrine malignancy and the first cause of death among endocrine cancers. Fatty acid
synthase (FASN) and c-Met are overexpressed in many types of human cancers. Recent studies have suggested a functional interaction
between FASN and c-Met. However, their roles in thyroid carcinomas have not been fully investigated. In this study, we evaluated the
expressions of FASN and phosphorylated (p)-c-Met by using immunohistochemistry in thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin, from 32 patients.
The adjacent non-neoplastic thyroid tissue was also evaluated for comparison. Immunoreactive intensity and extensiveness were
semi-quantified. The overexpression of FASN was observed in a subset of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) including the classical type and
tall cell, follicular, trabecular/insular and diffuse sclerosing variants, a subset of follicular thyroid carcinomas (FTC), and the PTC and FTC
components in anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC). No overexpression was observed in the ATCs per se and the columnar cell, solid, and
cribriform variants of PTCs. All Hürthle cell variant FTCs and non-neoplastic Hürthle cells demonstrated positive staining for FASN while the
non-neoplastic follicular cells without Hürthle cell change were negative. An association in overexpression between FASN and p-c-Met was
observed in the majority of carcinomas as well as in the non-neoplastic Hürthle cells. In conclusion, overexpressions of FASN and p-c-Met
were observed in a subset of thyroid carcinomas of follicular origin, which may be of values for targeted therapy and predicting prognosis while
the positive immunostaining for these immunomarkers may be non-specific for Hürthle cell thyroid carcinomas.
(IJCEP1109011).

Keywords: C-Met, fatty acid synthase, immunohistochemistry, thyroid carcinoma

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Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Jing Liu
Department of Pathology & Laboratory
University of Texas Medical School at Houston
6431 Fannin Street, MSB 2.260A
Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Tel: (713) 500-5327; Fax: (713) 500-0733
E-mail: jing.liu.1@uth.tmc.edu