Proteomics of thyroid tumours provides new insights into their molecular composition and changes associated with malignancy

Juan Martínez-Aguilar, Roderick Clifton-Bligh, Mark P. Molloy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Around 5% of the general population have palpable thyroid nodules. Although most thyroid tumours are benign, thyroid cancer represents the most common malignancy of the endocrine system, comprising mainly follicular and papillary thyroid carcinomas. Previous studies have shed some light on the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid cancer but there have not been any comprehensive mass spectrometry-based proteomic studies of large scale to reveal protein expression differences between thyroid tumours and the molecular alterations associated with tumour malignancy. We applied data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry which enabled quantitative expression analysis of over 1,600 proteins from 32 specimens to compare normal thyroid tissue with the three most common tumours of the thyroid gland: follicular adenoma, follicular carcinoma and papillary carcinoma. In follicular tumours, we found marked reduction of the tumour suppressor and therapeutic target extracellular protein decorin. We made the novel observation that TGFβ-induced protein ig-h3 (TGFBI) was found frequently overexpressed in follicular carcinoma compared with follicular adenoma. Proteomic pathway analysis showed changes in papillary carcinoma were associated with disruption of cell contacts (loss of E-cadherin), actin cytoskeleton dynamics and loss of differentiation markers, all hallmarks of an invasive phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23660
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Proteomics of thyroid tumours provides new insights into their molecular composition and changes associated with malignancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this