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Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00038

TCF21/POD1, a transcriptional regulator of SF-1/NR5A1, as a potential prognosis marker in adult and pediatric adrenocortical tumors

 Barbara S. Passaia1,  Sonir R. Antonini2, Madson Q. de Almeida3, Maria Candida B. Fragoso3 and  Claudimara F. Lotfi1*
  • 1Department of Anatomy, Institute of Biomedical Science, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2Department of Pediatrics and Puericulture, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 3Adrenal Unit, Hormone and Molecular Genetic Laboratory/LIM42, Hospital of Clinics, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil

With recent progress in understanding the pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors (ACTs), identification of molecular markers to predict their prognosis has become possible. TCF21/POD-1 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; genes negatively correlated with TCF21 include among others BUB1B in KEGG (Encyclopedia of genes and Genomes) pathway analysis. The difference between BUB1B and PINK1 expression has been described previously to be associates with survival in adult but not 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 adrenocortical tumors. In addition, we propose using the subtracted expression levels of the TCF21-BUB1B genes as a predictor of overall survival 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 overall survival 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 new prognostic marker in adult and pediatric adrenocortical tumors.

Keywords: Adrenocortical tumors, adult and pediatric tumors, Tcf21, BUB1B, PINK1, NR5A1., POD1, CRISPR/dCas9

Received: 28 Sep 2017; Accepted: 30 Jan 2018.

Edited by:

Vincenzo Pezzi, University of Calabria, Italy

Reviewed by:

Matthias Kroiss, University of Würzburg, Germany
Michaela Luconi, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Passaia, Antonini, de Almeida, Fragoso and Lotfi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Claudimara F. Lotfi, Institute of Biomedical Science, University of São Paulo, Department of Anatomy, São Paulo, Brazil, clotfi@usp.br