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Original Article The Expression of the Bcl-2 Family Proteins in Thyroid Neoplasms.
Il Min Ahn, Eun Sook Kim, Seok Jun Hong, Kyung Yub Gong, Tae Jin Lee, Jin Yub Kim, Sung Bae Kim, Sang Hee Kim
Endocrinology and Metabolism 1998;13(3):359-365

Published online: January 1, 2001
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Proteins of the Bcl-2 family are intracellular membrane-associated proteins that regulate programmed cell death either positively or negatively by as yet unknown mechanism. Bcl-2 family proteins have an antiapoptotic function, such as the Bcl-2, the long form of Bcl-x and Mcl-l, or a proapoptotic function, like the short form of Bcl-x and Bax. To investigate the potential role of Bcl-2 family proteins in thyroid tumorigenesis, the authors examined the pattern of expression of the Bel-2 family proteins in various thyroid neoplasms. METHODS: Bcl-2 family proteins, including Bcl-2, Bcl-x, Mcl-1 and Bax proteins were immunohistochemically stained in 57 cases of various thyroid neoplasms using formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded tissues; 18 cases of papillary carcinoma, 6 cases of medullary carcinoma, 4 cases of anaplastic carcinoma, 10 cases of follicular adenoma, 9 cases of adenomatous goiter, and 10 autopsy cases of fetal thyroid galnd. The intensity and frequency of the immunostaining were evaluated with the program of Image-Pro Plus Version 3.0 for image analysis. RESULT: Consistent expression of Bcl-2, Mcl-1, and Bax proteins were present in the surrounding normal thyroid tissue, however the expression of Bcl-x protein was not observed. Compare to the expression patterns of adenomatous goiter, and fetal and surrounding normal thyroid tissues, papillary and anaplastic carcinomas showed the decreased Bcl-2 and increased Bcl-x protein expressions(p (0.05). Medullary carcinoma revealed the increased Bcl-x protein expression only(p 0.05). CONCLUSION: These data suggest that combined patterns of decreased Bcl-2 and increased Bcl-x protein expressions may eontribute to the carcinogenesis of thyroid cancers originated from thyroid follicular cells, and an increased expression of Bcl-x protein may be related to the pathogenesis of medullary carcinoma from parafollicular C cells.

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