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Surgery. 1991 Dec;110(6):949-55.

Increased stimulatory G protein in neoplastic human thyroid tissues.

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Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, Calif.


Prior studies in our laboratory have shown that thyroid neoplasms produce increased amounts of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptors act through the stimulatory G protein (Gs) to activate adenylate cyclase, the enzyme responsible for cAMP production. The purpose of this study is to measure the activity and amount of Gs in human normal and neoplastic thyroid tissue to see whether alterations in Gs are responsible for the increased cAMP production seen in thyroid neoplasms. Four tumors with a high TSH-stimulated cyclase activity of 497.6 +/- 71.9 pmol/mg/30 min versus 35.9 +/- 13.5 pmol/mg/30 min for normal tissue from the same patients were studied. In reconstitution studies measuring Gs activity, neoplastic thyroid tissue produced 637 +/- 106 pmol cAMP/mg S49/mg thyroid membrane min versus 363 +/- 133 pmol cAMP/mg 549/mg thyroid membrane/min produced by normal thyroid tissue. Qualitative assessments of the amount of Gs present with cholera toxin-mediated adenosine diphosphate ribosylation showed increased Gs in thyroid tumors. Western blotting with antibodies directed against Gs showed a 3.3 +/- 0.6-fold increase in the amount of Gs in these thyroid tumors. These experiments identify an increase in the amount of an otherwise normal Gs as the biochemical defect responsible for the increased cAMP production in this group of tumors.

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