Novel Insights into Pituitary Tumorigenesis: Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms

Vinaya Srirangam Nadhamuni, Márta Korbonits
Endocrine Reviews 2020 December 1, 41 (6)
Substantial advances have been made recently in the pathobiology of pituitary tumors. Similar to many other endocrine tumors, over the last few years we have recognized the role of germline and somatic mutations in a number of syndromic or nonsyndromic conditions with pituitary tumor predisposition. These include the identification of novel germline variants in patients with familial or simplex pituitary tumors and establishment of novel somatic variants identified through next generation sequencing. Advanced techniques have allowed the exploration of epigenetic mechanisms mediated through DNA methylation, histone modifications and noncoding RNAs, such as microRNA, long noncoding RNAs and circular RNAs. These mechanisms can influence tumor formation, growth, and invasion. While genetic and epigenetic mechanisms often disrupt similar pathways, such as cell cycle regulation, in pituitary tumors there is little overlap between genes altered by germline, somatic, and epigenetic mechanisms. The interplay between these complex mechanisms driving tumorigenesis are best studied in the emerging multiomics studies. Here, we summarize insights from the recent developments in the regulation of pituitary tumorigenesis.

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