Plasma Calcitonin Levels and miRNA323 Expression in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Patients with or without RET Mutation

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord University of Medical Science, Shahrekord, Iran.

2 Cellular and Molecular Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is an endocrine tumor featuring parafollicular or C-cell differentiation, with calcitonin as a specific biomarker in MTC diagnosis. Germline mutations in the RET proto-oncogene are considered responsible for its familial occurrence and somatic mutations can cause sporadic lesions. MicroRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors by inhibiting the expression of target genes.. The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between plasma levels of calcitonin and miRNA323 expression in MTC patients with or without RET mutation. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, MTC lesions (based on pathological confirmation) were investigated. Genomic DNA was extracted and Exons 10 and 11 of RET were genotyped using PCR-sequencing. Division was into two groups of 43 cases each with or without mutation. Plasma levels of calcitonin were determined in both. Results: miRNA323 was measured using real-time-PCR. After performing normality tests, independent T-tests and Mann Whitney tests were used for the statistical comparison of parametric and nonparametric data, respectively. Plasma levels of calcitonin were significantly higher in MTC cases without a RET mutation compared to those with a mutation. Conclusion: There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding the expression of miRNA323 so that this parameter could not be used as a bio-index germ line mutations in MTCs. However, determination of calcitonin levels in plasma might be helpful in this regard.


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