Peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase (Pin1), encoded by PIN1 gene with locus in chromosome 19p13, is an enzyme that catalytically induces conformational changes in proteins after phosphorylation on serine or threonine residues preceding proline (pSer/Thr-Pro motifs); in this way, it has an influence on protein interactions and intracellular localizations of proteins. The aim of the study were: 1) an assessment of PIN1 gene expression level in benign and malignant thyroid lesions; 2) the evaluation of possible correlations between gene expression and histopathological variants of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) or tumour size, classified according to TNM classification of primary tumours (in case of PTC only); 3) the estimation of possible relationships between expression of the gene in question and patients' sex or age.
Seventy (70) tissue samples were analyzed: 32 cases of PTC, 7 cases of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), 7 cases of follicular adenoma (FA), and 24 cases of nodular goitre (NG). In real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR), two-step RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) in an ABI PRISM 7500 Sequence Detection System was employed. The PIN1 gene expression level was assessed, calculating the mean relative quantification rate (RQ rate) increase for each sample.
The level of PIN1 gene expression (compared to that in macroscopically unchanged thyroid tissue) was higher in PTC group than those in FA, MTC and/or NG groups, but the statistical significance was noted for difference between PTC and NG groups only. On the other hand, the differences of RQ rate value between different PTC variants were statistically insignificant. No correlations were found between RQ values and tumour size, as well as between RQ values and patients' sex or age in PTC group.
The PIN1 gene expression may have - in future - an important meaning in the diagnostics of PTC and in understanding its pathogenesis. However, our results - mostly due to the small number of cases - do not yet allow considering PIN1 gene as a prognostic molecular PTC marker.