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      A Novel Apoptosis Gene Identified in the Pituitary Gland

      Neuroendocrinology

      S. Karger AG

      Epigenetics, Apoptosis, Pituitary tumour apoptosis gene (PTAG), Pituitary adenomas

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          Abstract

          Although multiple different cancers have been described, it is likely that these tumour types share a small, and common, number of newly acquired functional capabilities. Tumours that arise within the pituitary gland are no exception with respect to these new functional capabilities. Although compelling evidence for self-sufficiency in growth signals is presented, loss of functional tumour suppressor genes by classic mechanisms has not been clearly established. However, and in this context, methylation-mediated or -associated gene silencing, in particular of tumour suppressor genes, has been reported by numerous investigators in this tumour type. More recently, a search for novel genes on the basis of their inappropriate methylation has led to identification of a novel pro-apoptotic gene. Its pituitary tumour derivation and role in drug-induced apoptosis resulted in the acronym PTAG (pituitary tumour apoptosis gene) being assigned to this gene. In a model pituitary tumour cell line, AtT20, expression of PTAG per se had no discernible effects on proliferation, cell cycle profile or viability. However, enforced expression was associated with a significantly increased sensitivity to the apoptotic effects induced by bromocriptine challenge. Apoptosis was mediated through caspase activation and associated with DNA fragmentation as determined by TUNEL labelling. Similar findings are also evident in the rodent pituitary cell line, GH3 and our data shows that drugs other than bromocriptine, and that engage characterized receptors, elicit a PTAG-augmented apoptotic response. The isolation of novel genes, on the basis of their methylation status, offers a significant advantage with respect to our understanding of tumorigenesis in both the pituitary and other tumour types. The reversal of apparent gene silencing may lead to tumour cell ‘sensitisation’ to chemo- and radiotherapeutic treatment strategies.

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          Most cited references 10

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            The pathogenesis of pituitary tumours.

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              Functional PPAR-gamma receptor is a novel therapeutic target for ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas.

              Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary tumors are associated with high morbidity due to excess glucocorticoid production. No suitable drug therapies are currently available, and surgical excision is not invariably curative. Here we demonstrate immunoreactive expression of the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) exclusively in normal ACTH-secreting human anterior pituitary cells: PPAR-gamma was abundantly expressed in all of six human ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors studied. PPAR-gamma activators induced G0/G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis and suppressed ACTH secretion in human and murine corticotroph tumor cells. Development of murine corticotroph tumors, generated by subcutaneous injection of ACTH-secreting AtT20 cells, was prevented in four of five mice treated with the thiazolidinedione compound rosiglitazone, and ACTH and corticosterone secretion was suppressed in all treated mice. Based on these findings, thiazolidinediones may be an effective therapy for Cushing disease
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2006
                February 2007
                05 March 2007
                : 84
                : 4
                : 217-221
                Affiliations
                Human Disease and Genomics Group, Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Stoke on Trent, UK
                Article
                97486 Neuroendocrinology 2006;84:217–221
                10.1159/000097486
                17135715
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 15, Pages: 5
                Categories
                At the Cutting Edge

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