RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) D subunit (SDHD) inactivation in a growth-hormone-producing pituitary tumor: a new association for SDH?

BACKGROUND: Mutations in the subunits B, C, and D of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) mitochondrial complex II have been associated with the development of paragangliomas (PGL), gastrointestinal stromal tumors, papillary thyroid and renal carcinoma (SDHB), and testicular seminoma (SDHD).

AIM: Our aim was to examine the possible causative link between SDHD inactivation and somatotropinoma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A 37-yr-old male presented with acromegaly and hypertension. Other family members were found with PGL. Elevated plasma and urinary levels of catecholamines led to the identification of multiple PGL in the proband in the neck, thorax, and abdomen. Adrenalectomy was performed for bilateral pheochromocytomas (PHEO). A GH-secreting macroadenoma was also found and partially removed via transsphenoidal surgery (TTS). Genetic analysis revealed a novel SDHD mutation (c.298_301delACTC), leading to a frame shift and a premature stop codon at position 133 of the protein. Loss of heterozygosity for the SDHD genetic locus was shown in the GH-secreting adenoma. Down-regulation of SDHD protein in the GH-secreting adenoma by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry was found. A literature search identified other cases of multiple PGL and/or PHEO in association with pituitary tumors.

CONCLUSION: We describe the first kindred with a germline SDHD pathogenic mutation, inherited PGL, and acromegaly due to a GH-producing pituitary adenoma. SDHD loss of heterozygosity, down-regulation of protein in the GH-secreting adenoma, and decreased SDH enzymatic activity supports SDHD's involvement in the pituitary tumor formation in this patient. Older cases of multiple PGL and PHEO and pituitary tumors in the literature support a possible association between SDH defects and pituitary tumorigenesis.

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