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N O'Donovan, A Fischer, EM Abdo, F Simon, HJ Peter, H Gerber, U Buergi, and U Marti

The genetic events involved in thyroid carcinogenesis are still incompletely understood. Several rearrangements and mutations of oncogenes have been implicated in the development of thyroid papillary carcinomas, follicular adenomas and carcinomas. However, none of these molecular alterations is suitable either as a general marker for the diagnosis of thyroid carcinomas or to differentiate between thyroid follicular adenomas and carcinomas. In order to identify new genes with altered expression which could serve as such markers, we analyzed RNA from thyroid tumor and normal tissue using a novel technique called restriction-mediated differential display. Several differentially expressed genes were identified, including the gene for IgG Fc binding protein (FcgammaBP). Differential expression of FcgammaBP was confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Our experiments showed that IgG Fc binding protein (FcgammaBP) is differentially expressed in normal thyroid tissue, thyroid adenomas and thyroid carcinomas. While the FcgammaBP gene is constitutively expressed in normal thyroid tissue, its expression is significantly increased in follicular thyroid adenomas and significantly decreased in papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas. Thus, measurement of the expression levels of FcgammaBP in thyroid biopsies might help to make the otherwise difficult distinction between a thyroid follicular adenoma and a follicular carcinoma.