J Pathol Transl Med.  2021 Sep;55(5):317-323. 10.4132/jptm.2021.06.28.

Proto-oncogene Pokemon in thyroid cancer: a potential promoter of tumorigenesis in papillary thyroid carcinoma

  • 1Department of Pathology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Pokemon is an oncogenic transcription regulator that plays a critical role in cellular differentiation. Although it has been found to be overexpressed in several types of cancer involving different organs, its role in thyroid gland has yet to be reported. The objective of this study was to evaluate the expression of Pokemon in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) based on clinicopathological parameters.
Tissue microarray samples derived from patients with PTC or benign thyroid disease were used to evaluate Pokemon expression based on immunohistochemical analysis. Correlations of its expression with various clinicopathological parameters were then analyzed.
Pokemon expression was observed in 22.0% of thyroid follicular cells from the normal group, 44.0% from the group with benign thyroid diseases, and 92.1% from the group with PTC (p < .001). The intensity of Pokemon expression was markedly higher in the PTC group. Pokemon expression level and PTC tumor size showed an inverse correlation. T1a tumors showed strong expression levels of Pokemon. However, larger tumors showed weak expression (p = .006).
Pokemon expression is associated with tumorigenesis of PTC, with expression showing an inverse correlation with PTC tumor size. This might be related to the negative regulation of aerobic glycolysis by Pokemon.


Pokemon; ZBTB7A; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Thyroid neoplasms


  • Fig. 1 Immunohistochemical expression of Pokemon in thyroid tissues of normal (A–C), benign thyroid disease (D–F), and PTC (G–I) groups. Pokemon expression intensity is interpreted as negative (A, D, G), weakly positive (B, E, H), or strongly positive (C, F, I).



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