Molecular genetic advances in pituitary tumor development

Christopher J Yates, Kate E Lines, Rajesh V Thakker
Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism 2015, 10 (1): 35-53
Pituitary adenomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors that may occur as part of a complex syndrome or as an isolated endocrinopathy and both forms can be familial or non-familial. Studies of syndromic and non-syndromic pituitary adenomas have yielded important insights about the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis. Thus, syndromic forms, including multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), MEN4, Carney Complex and McCune Albright syndrome, have been shown to be due to mutations of the tumor-suppressor protein menin, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (p27Kip1 ), the protein kinase A regulatory subunit 1-α, and the G-protein α-stimulatory subunit (Gsα), respectively. Non-syndromic forms, which include familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) and sporadic tumors, have been shown to be due to abnormalities of: the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein; Gsα; signal transducers; cell cycle regulators; transcriptional modulators and miRNAs. The roles of these molecular abnormalities and epigenetic mechanisms in pituitary tumorigenesis, and their therapeutic implications are reviewed.

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