Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010 August; 65(8): 757-762.

Copyright © 2010 Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP

NDRG1 protein overexpression in malignant thyroid neoplasms

Renê Gerhard 1 , Suely Nonogaki 2 , José Humberto Tavares Guerreiro Fregnani 3 , Fernando Augusto Soares 4 , Maria Aparecida Nagai 1

Disciplina de Oncologia, Departamento de Radiologia da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo - São Paulo/SP, Brazil

Instituto Adolfo Lutz, Divisão de Patologia - São Paulo/SP, Brazil

Departamento de Ginecologia Oncológica e Núcleo de Apoio ao Pesquisador, Hospital de Câncer de Barretos - Barretos/SP, Brazil

Fundação Antonio Prudente - São Paulo/SP, Brazil

E-mail: Tel.: 55 11 3069-7292

received March 23, 2010; revised April 5, 2010; accepted May 3, 2010.



The aim of this study was to examine the expression of the N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 protein in benign and malignant lesions of the thyroid gland by immunohistochemistry.


N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 encodes a protein whose expression is induced by various stimuli, including cell differentiation, exposure to heavy metals, hypoxia, and DNA damage. Increased N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 expression has been detected in various types of tumors, but the role of N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 expression in thyroid lesions remains to be determined.


A tissue microarray paraffin block containing 265 tissue fragments corresponding to normal thyroid, nodular goiter, follicular adenoma, papillary thyroid carcinoma (classical pattern and follicular variant), follicular carcinoma, and metastases of papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal anti- N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 antibody.


The immunohistochemical expression of N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 was higher in carcinomas compared to normal thyroid glands and nodular goiters, with higher expression in classical papillary thyroid carcinomas and metastases of thyroid carcinomas (P < 0.001). A combined analysis showed higher immunohistochemical expression of NDRG1 in malignant lesions (classical pattern and follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinomas, follicular carcinomas, and metastases of thyroid carcinomas) compared to benign thyroid lesions (goiter and follicular adenomas) (P = 0.043). In thyroid carcinomas, N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 expression was significantly correlated with a more advanced TNM stage (P = 0.007) and age, metastasis, tumor extent, and size (AMES) high-risk group (P = 0.012).


Thyroid carcinomas showed increased immunohistochemical N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 expression compared to normal and benign thyroid lesions and is correlated with more advanced tumor stages.

Keywords: NDRG1, Thyroid Gland, Thyroid Carcinoma, Immunohistochemistry, Tissue Microarray

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