OPNa Overexpression Is Associated with Matrix Calcification in Thyroid Cancer Cell Lines

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OPNa Overexpression Is Associated with Matrix Calcification in Thyroid Cancer Cell Lines

Tuesday, 09.04.2019


Authors and Affiliations:

Luciana B. Ferreira 1,2,3, Raquel T. Lima 1,2,4, Ana Clara Santos da Fonseca Bastos 3, Andreia M. Silva 1,5,6, Catarina Tavares 1,2, Ana Pestana 1,2, Elisabete Rios 1,2,4,7, Catarina Eloy 2, Manuel Sobrinho-Simões 1,2,4,7, Etel R. P. Gimba 3,8, and Paula Soares 1,2,4

1 i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal;

2 Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (Ipatimup), 4200-135 Porto, Portugal;

3 Research Coordination, National Institute of Cancer, Rio de Janeiro 20230-130, Brazil;

4 Medical Faculty, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal

5 INEB—Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal

6 ICBAS—Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar da Universidade do Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal

7 Department of Pathology, Hospital de S. João, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal

8 Natural Sciences Department, Health and Humanities Institute, Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro 28880-000, Brazil



Osteopontin (OPN) spliced variants (OPN-SV: OPNa, OPNb, and OPNc) are aberrantly expressed in tumors and frequently associated with cancer progression. This holds true for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), which is the most common type of thyroid cancer (TC). PTC often presents with desmoplasia and dystrophic calcification, including psammoma bodies (PB). This work aimed to investigate total OPN (tOPN) and OPN-SV expression and their association with the presence of PB in the PTC classical variants (cPTC), as well as the involvement of OPN-SV in matrix calcification of TC cell lines. We found that cPTC samples presenting PB showed higher OPN expression levels. In TC cell lines, OPNa overexpression promotes higher matrix calcification and collagen synthesis when compared to that of clones overexpressing OPNb or OPNc. In response to OPN knockdown, calcification was inhibited, paralleled with the downregulation of calcification markers. In conclusion, our data evidenced that OPN expression is associated with the presence of PB in cPTC samples. Among the OPN-SV, OPNa is the main contributor to matrix calcification in tested TC cells, providing clues to a better understanding on the biology and ethiopathogenesis of the calcification process in TC cells.


Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences