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The molecular pathology of somatotrophinomas has been investigated by a combined search for dominant mutations of the gene encoding the Gs alpha protein and for recessive mutations involving chromosome 11q13, which contains the gene causing multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). Somatotrophinomas and peripheral leukocytes were obtained from thirteen patients with acromegaly; one patient also suffered from MEN1. Five DNA probes identifying restriction fragment length polymorphisms from 11q revealed allele loss in pituitary tumors from five (four non-MEN1 and one MEN1) patients. Deletion mapping revealed that the region of allele loss common to the somatotrophinomas involved 11q13. An analysis for similar allelic deletions at 12 other loci from chromosomes 1-5, 7-9, 12-14, and 17 did not reveal generalized allele loss in the somatotrophinomas. These results, which represent the first report of chromosome 11 allele loss occurring in non-MEN1 somatotrophinomas, indicate that a recessive oncogene on 11q13 is specifically involved in the monoclonal development of somatotrophinomas. In addition Gs alpha mutations were detected in two non-MEN1 somatotrophinomas, one of which also revealed allele loss of chromosome 11. Thus, our results reveal that the development of somatotrophinomas is associated with alterations in both dominant and recessive oncogenes and further characterization of these genetic abnormalities will help to elucidate the multistep etiology and progression of somatotrophinomas.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Invest

Publication Date





2815 - 2821


Acromegaly, Adult, Aged, Alleles, Base Sequence, Chromosome Deletion, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11, Female, GTP-Binding Proteins, Genes, Dominant, Genes, Recessive, Genes, Suppressor, Growth Hormone, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Molecular Sequence Data, Oncogenes, Pituitary Neoplasms