Distinct Metabolomic Profiles of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma and Benign Thyroid Adenoma

Yanan Xu, Xiaojiao Zheng, Yunping Qiu, Wei Jia, Jiadong Wang, Shankai Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and benign thyroid adenoma (BTA) are the most common head and neck tumors. However, the metabolic differences between PTC and BTA have not been characterized. The aim of this study was to identify the metabolic profiles of these two types of tumors using a metabolomics approach. Tumors and adjacent nontumor specimens collected from 57 patients with PTC and 48 patients with BTA were profiled using gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry and ultraperformance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. A panel of 46 and 44 differentially expressed metabolites were identified in the PTC and BTA specimens, respetively, and compared with nontumor tissues. Common metabolic signatures, as characterized by increased glycolysis, amino acid metabolism, one carbon metabolism and tryptophan metabolism, were found in both types of tumors. Purine and pyrimidine metabolism was significantly elevated in the PTC specimens, and taurine and hypotaurine levels were also higher in the PTC tissues. Increased fatty acid and bile acid levels were found, especially in the BTA tissues. The metabolic profiles of the PTC and BTA tissues include both similar and remarkably different metabolites, suggesting the presence of common and unique mechanistic pathways in these types of tumors during tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3315-3321
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • benign thyroid adenoma
  • gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry
  • metabolomics
  • papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • ultraperformance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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