VDR mRNA overexpression is associated with worse prognostic factors in papillary thyroid carcinoma

June Young Choi, Jin Wook Yi, Jun Hyup Lee, Ra Yeong Song, Hyeongwon Yu, Hyungju Kwon, Young Jun Chai, Su Jin Kim, Kyu Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) expression and prognostic factors in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). mRNA sequencing and somatic mutation data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were analyzed. VDR mRNA expression was compared to clinicopathologic variables by linear regression. Tree-based classification was applied to find cutoff and patients were split into low and high VDR group. Logistic regression, Kaplan–Meier analysis, differentially expressed gene (DEG) test and pathway analysis were performed to assess the differences between two VDR groups. VDR mRNA expression was elevated in PTC than that in normal thyroid tissue. VDR expressions were high in classic and tall-cell variant PTC and lateral neck node metastasis was present. High VDR group was also associated with classic and tall cell subtype, AJCC stage IV and lower recurrence-free survival. DEG test reveals that 545 genes were upregulated in high VDR group. Thyroid cancer-related pathways were enriched in high VDR group in pathway analyses. VDR mRNA overexpression was correlated with worse prognostic factors such as subtypes of papillary thyroid carcinoma that are known to be worse prognosis, lateral neck node metastasis, advanced stage and recurrence-free survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Connections
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Research Grant Number CB-2011-03-01 of the Korean Foundation for Cancer Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The authors.


  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • TCGA data
  • VDR mRNA
  • Vitamin D


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