Cyclin D1 is a target molecule transcriptionally activated by aberrant beta-catenin in Wnt signalling, while prolyl isomerase Pin1 promotes cyclin D1 overexpression directly or through accumulation of beta-catenin in cancer cells. This study aimed to elucidate whether Pin1 was involved in cyclin D1 overexpression and aberrant beta-catenin in thyroid tumourigenesis by examining 14 follicular adenomas (FAa) and 14 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs). All PTCs displayed cyclin D1 overexpression and strong cytoplasmic beta-catenin and/or decreased membrane beta-catenin expression by immunohistochemistry. Overexpression of cyclin D1 mRNA was observed in 45.5% of FAs and 54.5% of PTCs by TaqMan real-time PCR. Pin1 expression was observed in PTC by immunostaining and was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-PCR. There was a strong correlation between cyclin D1 and Pin1/cytoplasmic/membrane beta-catenin expression (p < 0.001), and between Pin1 and cytoplasmic (p < 0.001)/membrane (p = 0.002) beta-catenin expression in thyroid tumours. Mutation of the beta-catenin gene could not be detected in PTC. Western blot analysis demonstrated high levels of cyclin D1 and beta-catenin as well as Pin1 expression in a human PTC cell line possessing wild-type beta-catenin and APC genes. This study suggests that both cyclin D1 overexpression and aberrant beta-catenin expression are of significance in thyroid tumours. Pin1 expression appears to correlate closely with the level of cyclin D1 and aberrant beta-catenin expression in thyroid tumours such as FA and PTC. Pin1 may be an important factor in regulating cyclin D1 and beta-catenin expression during thyroid carcinogenesis.
Copyright 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.