Familial pituitary adenomas

Department of Endocrinology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège, University of Liège, Domaine Universitaire du Sart-Tilman, Liège 4000, Belgium.
Journal of Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 6.06). 08/2009; 266(1):5-18. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2009.02109.x
Source: PubMed


The majority of pituitary adenomas occur sporadically, however, about 5% of all cases occur in a familial setting, of which over half are due to multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1) and Carney's complex (CNC). Since the late 1990s we have described non-MEN1/CNC familial pituitary tumours that include all tumour phenotypes, a condition named familial isolated pituitary adenomas (FIPA). The clinical characteristics of FIPA vary from those of sporadic pituitary adenomas, as patients with FIPA have a younger age at diagnosis and larger tumours. About 15% of FIPA patients have mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein gene (AIP), which indicates that FIPA may have a diverse genetic pathophysiology. This review describes the clinical features of familial pituitary adenomas like MEN1, the MEN 1-like syndrome MEN-4, CNC, FIPA, the tumour pathologies found in this setting and the genetic/molecular data that have been recently reported.

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    • "AIP associated pituitary tumors are often large and invasive and resistant to the effects of available treatments, such as somatostatin analogues, which are used in acromegaly [17]–[19]. Familial occurrence of pituitary tumors is also the main feature in familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) [8], [20]. Subsequently, it was found that AIP germline mutations explain 15–20% of FIPA families and 50% of families with isolated familial somatotropinomas (IFS) [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pituitary adenomas are neoplasms of the anterior pituitary lobe and account for 15–20% of all intracranial tumors. Although most pituitary tumors are benign they can cause severe symptoms related to tumor size as well as hypopituitarism and/or hypersecretion of one or more pituitary hormones. Most pituitary adenomas are sporadic, but it has been estimated that 5% of patients have a familial background. Germline mutations of the tumor suppressor gene aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) predispose to hereditary pituitary neoplasia. Recently, it has been demonstrated that AIP mutations predispose to pituitary tumorigenesis through defective inhibitory GTP binding protein (Gαi) signaling. This finding prompted us to examine whether germline loss-of-function mutations in inhibitory guanine nucleotide (GTP) binding protein alpha (GNAI) loci are involved in genetic predisposition of pituitary tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first time GNAI genes are sequenced in order to examine the occurrence of inactivating germline mutations. Thus far, only somatic gain-of-function hot-spot mutations have been studied in these loci. Here, we have analyzed the coding regions of GNAI1, GNAI2, and GNAI3 in a set of young sporadic somatotropinoma patients (n = 32; mean age of diagnosis 32 years) and familial index cases (n = 14), thus in patients with a disease phenotype similar to that observed in AIP mutation carriers. In addition, expression of Gαi proteins was studied in human growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting and non-functional pituitary tumors. No pathogenic germline mutations affecting the Gαi proteins were detected. The result suggests that loss-of-function mutations of GNAI loci are rare or nonexistent in familial pituitary adenomas.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "A significant subset of familial pituitary adenoma patients does not display mutations in the known predisposition genes. These patients are often diagnosed with familial isolated pituitary adenoma, which is characterized by a heterogeneous phenotype of pituitary adenomas with unknown underlying genetic defects (Tichomirowa et al. 2009). Although previous studies have found no somatic pathogenic RET mutations in pituitary adenoma, to our knowledge, RET germline mutations have not been previously assessed in familial pituitary adenoma. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pituitary adenomas are common in the general population. Although most of them are sporadic, some occur in a familial setting. In familial pituitary adenoma patients it is common that no germline defects are found after screening of aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein (AIP) and other genes known to underlie the condition, suggesting the existence of yet unknown predisposition genes. Recently, the RET proto-oncogene was found to be a novel in vivo interaction partner of AIP in the pituitary gland. Here, we have screened patients from 16 AIP mutation negative (AIPmut-) pituitary adenoma families for RET germline mutations to assess whether RET could play a role in pituitary adenoma predisposition, similar to AIP. We found five novel germline RET changes: one in RET Exon 4 and the rest in noncoding regions of RET. Two changes, c.1560*G > A and -1285 G > A, were segregated in affected family members. We also analyzed the RET region with enhancer element locator (EEL) to identify RET regulatory elements, and to see whether the changes resided in these. None of the variants mapped to the regions predicted by EEL. Expression of RET was examined in ten AIPmut- and seven AIP mutation positive (AIPmut+) somatotropinomas by immunohistochemistry, with a trend showing reduced expression in the latter (P = 0.05). We conclude that the RET variants are presumably not related to pituitary adenoma predisposition, although reduced RET expression may play a role in AIP-related genesis of somatotropinomas.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Several important advances have been made over the last 2 years, since the last international workshop on multiple endocrine neoplasias (MENs) that was held in Marseilles, France (MEN2006). The series of articles that are included in this issue summarize the most important of these advances as they were presented in Delphi, Greece, during the 11th International Workshop on MENs, September 25-27, 2008 (MEN2008). This editorial summarizes some of these advances: the identification of the AIP, and the PDE11A and PDE8B genes by genome-wide association (GWA) studies as predisposing genes for pituitary and adrenal tumours, respectively, the discovery of p27 mutations in a new form of MEN similar to MEN type 1 (MEN 1) that is now known as MEN 4, the molecular investigations of Carney triad (CT), a disorder that associates paragangliomas (PGLs), gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GISTs), and pulmonary chondromas (PCH) with pheochromocytomas and adrenocortical adenomas and other lesions, and the molecular elucidation of the association of GISTs with paragangliomas (Carney-Stratakis syndrome) that is now known to be because of SDHB, SDHC, and SDHD mutations. Molecular investigations in Carney complex (another MEN also described by Dr. Carney, who during the meeting, along with Dr. Charles E. ('Gene') Jackson was honoured for his life-long and many contributions to the field) have also revealed the role of cyclic AMP signalling in tumorigenesis. As our knowledge of the molecular causes of MENs increases, the challenge is to translate these discoveries in better treatments for our patients. Indeed, new advances in the preventive diagnosis and molecular treatment of MEN 1 and MEN 2, respectively, continued unabated, and an update on this front was also presented at MEN2008 and is included in this issue.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Journal of Internal Medicine
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