Osteopontin (OPN) is a matricellular protein overexpressed in cancer cells and modulates tumorigenesis and metastasis, including in thyroid cancer (TC). The contribution of each OPN splice variant (OPN-SV), named OPNa, OPNb and OPNc, in TC is currently unknown. This study evaluates the expression of total OPN (tOPN) and OPN-SV in TC tissues and cell lines, their correlation with clinicopathological, molecular features and their functional roles. We showed that tOPN and OPNa are overexpressed in classic papillary thyroid carcinoma (cPTC) in relation to adjacent thyroid, adenoma and follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (fvPTC) tissues. In cPTC, OPNa overexpression is associated with larger tumor size, vascular invasion, extrathyroid extension and BRAF V600E mutation. We found that TC cell lines overexpressing OPNa exhibited increased proliferation, migration, motility and in vivo invasion. Conditioned medium secreted from cells overexpressing OPNa induce MMP2 and MMP9 metalloproteinases activity. In summary, we described the expression pattern of OPN-SV in cPTC samples and the key role of OPNa expression on activating TC tumor progression features. Our findings highlight OPNa variant as TC biomarker, besides being a putative target for cPTC therapeutic approaches.
Ferreira, L. B., Tavares, C., Pestana, A., Pereira, C. L., Eloy, C., Pinto, M. T., … Soares, P. (2016). Osteopontin-a splice variant is overexpressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma and modulates invasive behavior. Oncotarget, 7(32), 52003–52016. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10468