The pathogenic effect of mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein ( AIP) gene ( AIPmuts) in pituitary adenomas is incompletely understood. We have identified the primary mechanism of loss of function for missense AIPmuts.
This study sought to analyze the mechanism/speed of protein turnover of wild-type and missense AIP variants, correlating protein half-life with clinical parameters.
Half-life and protein–protein interaction experiments and cross-sectional analysis of AIPmut positive patients' data were performed in a clinical academic research institution.
Data were obtained from our cohort of pituitary adenoma patients and literature-reported cases.
Protein turnover of endogenous AIP in two cell lines and fifteen AIP variants overexpressed in HEK293 cells was analyzed via cycloheximide chase and proteasome inhibition. Glutathione-S-transferase pull-down and quantitative mass spectrometry identified proteins involved in AIP degradation; results were confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and gene knockdown. Relevant clinical data was collected.
Half-life of wild-type and mutant AIP proteins and its correlation with clinical parameters.
Endogenous AIP half-life was similar in HEK293 and lymphoblastoid cells (43.5 and 32.7 h). AIP variants were divided into stable proteins (median, 77.7 h; interquartile range [IQR], 60.7–92.9 h), and those with short (median, 27 h; IQR, 21.6–28.7 h) or very short (median, 7.7 h; IQR, 5.6–10.5 h) half-life; proteasomal inhibition rescued the rapid degradation of mutant proteins. The experimental half-life significantly correlated with age at diagnosis of acromegaly/gigantism (r = 0.411 ; P = .002). The FBXO3-containing SKP1–CUL1–F-box protein complex was identified as the E3 ubiquitin-ligase recognizing AIP.
We determined that protein instability, leading to shortened protein half-life, is a novel pathogenic mechanism for mutations in the AIP gene with clinical significance for pituitary adenoma patients.