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PLoS Genet. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002400. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002400. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

The FGFR4-G388R polymorphism promotes mitochondrial STAT3 serine phosphorylation to facilitate pituitary growth hormone cell tumorigenesis.

Author information

1
Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Pituitary tumors are common intracranial neoplasms, yet few germline abnormalities have been implicated in their pathogenesis. Here we show that a single nucleotide germline polymorphism (SNP) substituting an arginine (R) for glycine (G) in the FGFR4 transmembrane domain can alter pituitary cell growth and hormone production. Compared with FGFR4-G388 mammosomatotroph cells that support prolactin (PRL) production, FGFR4-R388 cells express predominantly growth hormone (GH). Growth promoting effects of FGFR4-R388 as evidenced by enhanced colony formation was ascribed to Src activation and mitochondrial serine phosphorylation of STAT3 (pS-STAT3). In contrast, diminished pY-STAT3 mediated by FGFR4-R388 relieved GH inhibition leading to hormone excess. Using a knock-in mouse model, we demonstrate the ability of FGFR4-R385 to promote GH pituitary tumorigenesis. In patients with acromegaly, pituitary tumor size correlated with hormone excess in the presence of the FGFR4-R388 but not the FGFR4-G388 allele. Our findings establish a new role for the FGFR4-G388R polymorphism in pituitary oncogenesis, providing a rationale for targeting Src and STAT3 in the personalized treatment of associated disorders.

PMID:
22174695
PMCID:
PMC3234213
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1002400
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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