The RET/PTC3 (RP3) fusion gene is the most frequent mutation found in radiation-induced papillary thyroid cancers (PTC). Several studies suggest that the RET/PTC rearrangement is an initiating event in tumorigenesis. E7 is an oncoprotein derived from the Human Papilllomavirus 16 (HPV16) responsible for most cervical carcinoma in women. We studied here the sequence of events leading to thyroid cancer in Tg-RP3 and Tg-E7 mice expressing the transgene exclusively in the thyroid under the control of thyroglobulin (Tg) promoter. Both transgenic mice develop thyroid hyperplasia followed by solid differentiated carcinoma in older animals. To understand the different steps leading to carcinoma, we analyzed thyroid gene expression in both strains at different ages (2, 6, 10 months) by microarray technology. Important biological processes were differentially regulated in the two tumor types. In E7 thyroids cell cycle was the most upregulated process; observation consistent with the huge size of these tumors. In RP3 thyroids immunity was the most significantly regulated process, as previously observed in microarray data on human PTC. Interestingly, other human PTC characteristics were also observed in RP3 but not in E7 mouse tumors: similar regulation of several human PTC markers, upregulation of many EGF-like growth factors and finally significant regulation of angiogenesis and extracellular matrix remodeling-related genes. In summary we showed that RP3 contrary to E7 mouse tumors share several important genotypic characteristics with human PTC, observation reinforcing the validity of this model to study human thyroid tumorigenesis.