Journal Article

Aberrant expression of G<sub>1</sub>/S regulators is a frequent event in sporadic pituitary adenomas

David J. Simpson, Simon J. Frost, John E. Bicknell, John C. Broome, Anne Marie McNicol, Richard N. Clayton and William E. Farrell

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 8, pages 1149-1154
Published in print August 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Aberrant expression of G1/S regulators is a frequent event in sporadic pituitary adenomas

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Components of the pRb/p16/cyclin D1/CDK4 pathway are frequent targets in numerous tumour types, including those of pituitary origin. However, previous studies of pituitary tumours have examined individual components of this pathway. Therefore, to determine their overall contribution we have simultaneously examined the immunohistochemical status of pRb, p16 and cyclin D1 and analysed the CDK4 gene for a characterized activating mutation. Of the total pituitary tumour cohort (29 clinically non-functioning adenomas and 16 somatotrophinomas) abnormal expression of either pRb, p16 or cyclin D1 was observed in 36 of 45 (80%) tumours and was significantly (P = 0.005) associated with non-functioning tumours (27/29; 93%) compared with somatotrophinomas (9/16, 56%). Loss of either pRb or p16 expression was mutually exclusive in 23 of 45 (51%) tumours, whilst concomitant loss of pRb and p16 expression was observed in five tumours. Cyclin D1 overexpression was observed in 22 of 45 (49%) tumours, however, there was no significant association between overexpression of cyclin D1 and the expression status of either pRb or p16. In addition, no activating mutations within codon 24 of the CDK4 gene were detected. This study provides evidence for the first time that components of the pRb/p16/cyclin D1/CDK4 pathway, either alone or in combination, are frequently deregulated in human pituitary tumours, suggesting that this pathway may be a useful target in drug or gene therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: CDK, cyclin dependant kinase; IHC, immunohistochemistry; pRb, retinoblastoma protein; TSGs, tumour suppressor genes.

Journal Article.  4827 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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