High sensitivity analysis of BRAF mutations in neoplastic and non-neoplastic thyroid lesions

Cesari, Valentina (2014) High sensitivity analysis of BRAF mutations in neoplastic and non-neoplastic thyroid lesions, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6360.
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The clonal distribution of BRAFV600E in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) has been recently debated. No information is currently available about precursor lesions of PTCs. My first aim was to establish whether the BRAFV600E mutation occurs as a subclonal event in PTCs. My second aim was to screen BRAF mutations in histologically benign tissue of cases with BRAFV600E or BRAFwt PTCs in order to identify putative precursor lesions of PTCs. Highly sensitive semi-quantitative methods were used: Allele Specific LNA quantitative PCR (ASLNAqPCR) and 454 Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). For the first aim 155 consecutive formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens of PTCs were analyzed. The percentage of mutated cells obtained was normalized to the estimated number of neoplastic cells. Three groups of tumors were identified: a first had a percentage of BRAF mutated neoplastic cells > 80%; a second group showed a number of BRAF mutated neoplastic cells < 30%; a third group had a distribution of BRAFV600E between 30-80%. The large presence of BRAFV600E mutated neoplastic cell sub-populations suggests that BRAFV600E may be acquired early during tumorigenesis: therefore, BRAFV600E can be heterogeneously distributed in PTC. For the second aim, two groups were studied: one consisted of 20 cases with BRAFV600E mutated PTC, the other of 9 BRAFwt PTCs. Seventy-five and 23 histologically benign FFPE thyroid specimens were analyzed from the BRAFV600E mutated and BRAFwt PTC groups, respectively. The screening of BRAF mutations identified BRAFV600E in “atypical” cell foci from both groups of patients. “Unusual” BRAF substitutions were observed in histologically benign thyroid associated with BRAFV600E PTCs. These mutations were very uncommon in the group with BRAFwt PTCs and in BRAFV600E PTCs. Therefore, lesions carrying BRAF mutations may represent “abortive” attempts at cancer development: only BRAFV600E boosts neoplastic transformation to PTC. BRAFV600E mutated “atypical foci” may represent precursor lesions of BRAFV600E mutated PTCs.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Cesari, Valentina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
papillary thyroid carcinoma next-generation sequencing tumor heterogeneity BRAF V600E uncommon mutations
Data di discussione
7 Aprile 2014

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