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posted on 22.02.2018, 13:34 authored by Barbara dos Santos Passaia, Matheus Henrique Dias, Jean Lucas Kremer, Sonir Roberto Rauber Antonini, Madson Queiroz de Almeida, Maria Candida Barisson Villares Fragoso, Claudimara Ferini Pacicco Lotfi

With recent progress in understanding the pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors (ACTs), identification of molecular markers to predict their prognosis has become possible. Transcription factor 21 (TCF21)/podocyte-expressed 1 (POD1) is a transcriptional regulatory protein expressed in mesenchymal cells at sites of epithelial–mesenchymal transition during the development of different systems. Adult carcinomas express less TCF21 than adenomas, in addition, the KEGG pathway analysis has shown that BUB1B, among others genes, is negatively correlated with TCF21 expression. The difference between BUB1B and PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) expression has been described previously to be associated with survival in adult but not in pediatric carcinomas. Here, we analyzed the gene expression of TCF21, BUB1B, PINK1, and NR5A1 in adult and pediatric ACTs. We found a negative correlation between the relative expression levels of TCF21 and BUB1B in adult ACTs, but the relative expression levels of TCF21, BUB1B, PINK1, and NR5A1 were similar in childhood ACTs. In addition, we propose using the subtracted expression levels of the TCF21/POD-1 genes as a predictor of overall survival (OS) in adult carcinomas and TCF21-NR5A1 as a predictor of malignancy for pediatric tumors in patients aged <5 years. These results require further validation in different cohorts of both adult and pediatric samples. Finally, we observed that the OS for patients aged <5 years was markedly favorable compared with that for patients >5 years as well as adult patients with carcinoma. In summary, we propose TCF21/POD-1 as a new prognostic marker in adult and pediatric ACTs.