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Expression of c-Jun, p73, Casp9, and N-ras in thymic epithelial tumors: relationship with the current WHO classification systems

Yuqing Ma1*, Qiaoxin Li12, Wenli Cui12, Na Miao1, Xia Liu1, Wei Zhang1, Chen Zhang3 and Jian Wang4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital, Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, 830054, China

2 Cancer Research Laboratory, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China

3 Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, China

4 Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:120  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-120

Published: 14 September 2012



To evaluate the expression and differential significance of c-Jun, p73, Casp-9 and N-ras in thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) with the aim to provide useful information for tumor biology and prospective therapy.


In this study, we analyzed the expression of four chromosome 1-related genes, namely c-Jun, p73, Casp-9 and N-ras, in 60 cases of thymic epithelial tumors. The tumors included 52 thymomas and 8 thymic carcinomas which were categorized according to the current WHO classification systems.


Compared with the normal thymus tissue, all thymic epithelial tumors demonstrated higher expression of c-Jun and p73. The expression of c-Jun and p73 in type B2, B3 thymoma and thymic carcinomas was similar, and significantly higher than that in all other subtypes of thymomas. Unlike type A thymoma, the expression of Casp-9 was relatively lower in type B thymoma and thymic carcinomas. With respect to the clinical staging systems, c-Jun was more expressed in progressive tumors harboring higher stages. In contrast to c-Jun, p73 and Casp-9, there was no significant aberration with N-ras expression irrespective of either tissue or tumor types.


The overexpression of c-Jun, p73 and Casp-9 in thymic epithelial tumors is closely related with the pathogenesis and biological behavior of the neoplasms. These candidate biomarkers provided useful information for prospective personalized therapy in the clinical management.

Additional non-English language abstract language: Chinese

背景:评估c-Jun, p73, Casp-9 和 N-ras在胸腺上皮性肿瘤诊断和鉴别诊断中的运用.

方法:根据世界卫生组织最新的诊断标准60例胸腺上皮性肿瘤分类,运用Envision法检测c-Jun,p73,Casp-9 和N-ras在不同亚型肿瘤中的表达情况,并结合临床病理学特征进行分析.



Virtual Slides webcite

Thymic tumour; Histologic classification; World Health Organization (WHO); c-Jun; p73; Casp-9; N-ras