Pituitary adenomas account for approximately 10% of intracranial tumors, but little is known of the oncogenesis of these tumors. The identification of tumor-specific genes may further elucidate the pathways of tumor formation. We used complementary DNA microarrays to examine gene expression profiles in nonfunctioning, PRL, GH, and ACTH secreting adenomas, compared with normal pituitary. Microarray analysis showed that 128 of 7075 genes examined were differentially expressed. We then analyzed three genes with unique expression patterns and oncogenic importance by RT-real time quantitative PCR in 37 pituitaries. Folate receptor gene was significantly overexpressed in nonfunctioning adenomas but was significantly underexpressed in PRL and GH adenomas, compared with controls and to other tumors. The ornithine decarboxylase gene was significantly overexpressed in GH adenomas, compared with other tumor subtypes but was significantly underexpressed in ACTH adenomas. C-mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase gene was significantly overexpressed in ACTH adenomas but was significantly underexpressed in PRL adenomas. We have shown that at least three genes involved in carcinogenesis in other tissues are also aberrantly regulated in the major types of pituitary tumors. The evaluation of candidate genes that emerge from these experiments provides a rational approach to investigate those genes significant in tumorigenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical