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      Absent or Delayed Adrenarche in Pit-1/POU1F1 Deficiency

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          Mutations of the PIT1/POU1F1 gene are responsible for a rare variant of anterior hypopituitarism, including deficiency of growth hormone, prolactin and thyrotropin. In 8 ethnically diverse POU1F1-deficient patients (4 different mutations) with normal circulating levels of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone, and with spontaneous onset and progression of puberty, we observed an absence or delay of adrenarche (median circulating dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate –6.2 SD); in each of the 4 postmenarcheal females, pubarche (i.e. appearance of pubic hair) was also absent or delayed. The absence/delay of adrenarche in POU1F1-deficient patients and the absence/delay of pubarche in POU1F1-deficient females suggest that a POU1F1-dependent factor contributes to the normal development of adrenarche and female pubarche.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Adrenarche - physiology, biochemistry and human disease.

          Adrenarche refers to the onset of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulphate (DHEA-S) production from the adrenal zona reticularis that can be detected at around 6 years of age. The phenotypic result of adrenarche is pubarche or the development of axillary and pubic hair that occurs in both girls and boys at about age 8. The phenomenon of adrenarche is unique to human beings and to some Old World primates, and a reversal of adrenarche appears to occur in the ageing process. Premature and exaggerated adrenarche can be indicative of future onset of adult diseases, thus increasing the clinical relevance of adrenarche. The physiological triggers of adrenarche and the role(s) of DHEA-S remain speculative. However, the biochemical pathways that define adrenarche have been characterized in detail, and the appearance of key enzymes and cofactors in the adrenal zona reticularis track with the progression of adrenarche. This article reviews the clinical manifestations of adrenarche, the biochemistry of the enzymes involved in DHEA-S production, and the cell biology of the adrenal zona reticularis.
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            Mutation of the POU-specific domain of Pit-1 and hypopituitarism without pituitary hypoplasia.

            A point mutation in the POU-specific portion of the human gene that encodes the tissue-specific POU-domain transcription factor, Pit-1, results in hypopituitarism, with deficiencies of growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. In two unrelated Dutch families, a mutation in Pit-1 that altered an alanine in the first putative alpha helix of the POU-specific domain to proline was observed. This mutation generated a protein capable of binding to DNA response elements but unable to effectively activate its known target genes, growth hormone and prolactin. The phenotype of the affected individuals suggests that the mutant Pit-1 protein is competent to initiate other programs of gene activation required for normal proliferation of somatotrope, lactotrope, and thyrotrope cell types. Thus, a mutation in the POU-specific domain of Pit-1 has a selective effect on a subset of Pit-1 target genes.
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              Cretinism with combined hormone deficiency caused by a mutation in the PIT1 gene.

               K Miyai,  Y Mizuno,  H Kohno (1992)
              Cretinism is marked by irreversible mental and growth retardation. We describe here an entirely new case of cretinism showing combined pituitary hormone deficiencies of thyrotropin, growth hormone and prolactin that appears to be caused by homozygosity for a nonsense mutation in the gene for the pituitary specific transcription activator, Pit-1/GHF-1 (designated PIT1 in humans for pituitary specific factor 1). This is the first report in humans of a defect in a transcription activator causing deficiency of multiple target genes.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                November 2005
                21 November 2005
                : 64
                : 4
                : 175-179
                aDepartment of Pediatrics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre-Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; bPediatric Endocrinology, University Children’s Hospital, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland; cEndocrine Unit, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; dDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
                88793 Horm Res 2005;64:175–179
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 43, Pages: 5
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