Elevated expression of thyroid hormone receptor α 2 (c-erb A-α2) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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Differential display was used to identify genes differentially expressed between cultured normal nasal epithelial cells and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cell lines. A 130 bp cDNA fragment showing homology with thyroid hormone receptor α2 (TR-α2 or c-erb A-α2) was identified in NPC cell lines. Northern blot analysis using the 130 bp cDNA fragment and a TR-α2 specific cDNA containing part of the coding region as probes, we were able to detect a 2.7 kb transcript corresponding to that of TR-α2 in NPC cell lines but not in normal nasal epithelial cells. RNA in situ hybridization was used to detect TR-α2 expression in clinical biopsies obtained from NPC patients and non-tumour controls. TR-α2 mRNA was detected in 1 out of 24 (4.2%) normal nasopharynx epithelium biopsies, in 5 out of 27 (18.5%) primary and 15 out of 24 (62.5%) recurrent tumours. The positive rate of TR-α2 expression in recurrent NPC biopsies was significantly higher than that in normal nasopharynx epithelium (P < 0.00001). The relevance of the elevated expression of TR-α2 in the pathogenesis process of NPC was discussed. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com

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Supported in part by National Science Council (NSC 87-2314-B-002-268, NSC 88-2314-B-002-153) and the National Health Research Institute (DOH83-H-315, DOH84-H-315, DOH85-H-315)

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Lee, J., Chen, C., Juang, B. et al. Elevated expression of thyroid hormone receptor α 2 (c-erb A-α2) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Br J Cancer 83, 1674–1680 (2000) doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1505

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  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • c-erb A-α2 (TR-α2)
  • differential display
  • RNA in situ hybridization

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