RET/PTC rearrangements and BRAF mutations in thyroid tumorigenesis

Endocrinology. 2007 Mar;148(3):936-41. doi: 10.1210/en.2006-0921. Epub 2006 Aug 31.


Thyroid papillary carcinoma is the most common type of endocrine cancer. It is frequently associated with genetic alterations leading to activation of the MAPK signaling pathway. The two most frequently affected genes, BRAF and RET, are activated by either point mutation or as a result of chromosomal rearrangement. These mutations are tumorigenic in thyroid follicular cells and correlate with specific phonotypical features and biological properties of papillary carcinomas, including tumor aggressiveness and response to radioiodine therapy. Molecular inhibitors that block RET/PTC or BRAF kinase activity have shown substantial therapeutic effects in the experimental systems and are currently being tested in clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / therapy
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret / genetics*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • RET protein, human
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf