Combined Cyclin D2 and Protein Convertase 2 Genes in Differentiating Various Follicular-patterned Lesions and Neoplasms of the Thyroid: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Neelaiah Siddaraju,
Senior Professor, Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry-605006, India.
Introduction: A pretherapeutic distinction between benign and malignant thyroid nodules is critical for the clinical management of patients presenting with thyroid nodules. However, certain follicular-patterned lesions, such as adenomatous nodules, follicular neoplasms comprising Follicular Adenoma (FA) and Follicular Carcinoma (FC), as well as the Follicular Variant of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma (FVPTC), can pose a significant dilemma during pre-therapeutic Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) evaluation. The present (pilot) study explores the possible utility of messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) and the protein expression of the two relatively less-explored genes, Cyclin D2 (CCND2) and Protein Convertase 2 (PCSK2), in distinguishing various follicular-patterned thyroid lesions and neoplasms by testing these molecular markers initially on histopathological sections.
Aim: To assess the RNA and protein expressions of CCND2 and PCSK2 genes in differentiating follicular-patterned thyroid neoplasms.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional analytical study conducted over 6 years, from August 2014 to August 2020, at the Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India. Real-Time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) along with Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on a total of 75 tissue samples from follicular-patterned thyroid lesions and neoplasms, including 19 Follicular Hyperplasias (FHs), 10 Nodular Goitres (NGs), 17 FAs, 8 FCs, and 12 FVPTCs, along with nine Conventional Papillary Thyroid Carcinomas (CPTCs). After confirming the RNA and protein expression levels in each of these lesions, Immunoreactive Scoring (IRS) was performed to assess their IHC expression. The Kruskal-Wallis and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests were used to analyse the mRNA expression data, and Pearson analysis was conducted to correlate the IHC data between the study groups. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Among the 75 thyroid lesions studied, both NG and FA showed a relatively higher cyclinD2 mRNA expression, with fold changes of 1.21 and 1.46, respectively. This was also reflected in IHC, with moderate nuclear expression observed in these cases. The PCSK2 mRNA expression was similar to that of CCND2, with the only difference noted between FH and FA. On IHC, eight out of 75 cases had positive PCSK2 expression, including five FHs, two FVPTCs, and one FA, while the remaining 67 cases were negative.
Conclusion: The CCND2 and PCSK2 genes assessed in the present study, regarding their mRNA and protein expressions, were not found to be of any practical value in distinguishing benign and malignant follicular lesions or neoplasms of the thyroid.