G protein abnormalities in pituitary adenomas

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
A SpadaE Ballaré


It has been demonstrated that the majority of secreting and nonsecreting adenomas is monoclonal in origin suggesting that these neoplasia arise from the replication of a single mutated cell, in which growth advantage results from either activation of protooncogenes or inactivation of antioncogenes. Although a large number of genes has been screened for mutations, only few genetic abnormalities have been found in pituitary tumors such as allelic deletion of chromosome 11q13 where the MEN-1 gene has been localised, and mutations in the gene encoding the alpha subunit of the stimulatory Gs and Gi2 protein. These mutations constitutively activate the alpha subunit of the Gs and Gi2 protein by inhibiting their intrinsic GTPase activity. Both Gs alpha and Gi2alpha can be considered products of protooncogenes (gsp and gip2, respectively) since gain of function mutations that activate mitogenic signals have been recognized in human tumors. Gsp oncogene is found in 30-40% of GH-secreting adenomas, in a low percentage of nonfunctioning and ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas, in toxic thyroid adenomas and differentiated thyroid carcinomas. The same mutations, occurred early in embriogenesis, have been also identified in tissues from patien...Continue Reading


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