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Somatotroph Tumors and the Epigenetic Status of the GNAS Locus

Abstract : Background: Forty percent of somatotroph tumors harbor recurrent activating GNAS mutations, historically called the gsp oncogene. In gsp-negative somatotroph tumors, GNAS expression itself is highly variable; those with GNAS overexpression most resemble phenotypically those carrying the gsp oncogene. GNAS is monoallelically expressed in the normal pituitary due to methylation-based imprinting. We hypothesize that changes in GNAS imprinting of gsp-negative tumors affect GNAS expression levels and tumorigenesis. Methods: We characterized the GNAS locus in two independent somatotroph tumor cohorts: one of 23 tumors previously published (PMID: 31883967) and classified by pan-genomic analysis, and a second with 82 tumors. Results: Multi-omics analysis of the first cohort identified a significant difference between gsp-negative and gsp-positive tumors in the methylation index at the known differentially methylated region (DMR) of the GNAS A/B transcript promoter, which was confirmed in the larger series of 82 tumors. GNAS allelic expression was analyzed using a polymorphic Fok1 cleavage site in 32 heterozygous gsp-negative tumors. GNAS expression was significantly reduced in the 14 tumors with relaxed GNAS imprinting and biallelic expression, compared to 18 tumors with monoallelic expression. Tumors with relaxed GNAS imprinting showed significantly lower SSTR2 and AIP expression levels. Conclusion: Altered A/B DMR methylation was found exclusively in gsp-negative somatotroph tumors. 43% of gsp-negative tumors showed GNAS imprinting relaxation, which correlated with lower GNAS, SSTR2 and AIP expression, indicating lower sensitivity to somatostatin analogues and potentially aggressive behavior.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03288514
Contributor : Valérie Gall <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 16, 2021 - 1:13:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 3:47:18 AM

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Pauline Romanet, Justine Galluso, Peter Kamenicky, Mirella Hage, Marily Theodoropoulou, et al.. Somatotroph Tumors and the Epigenetic Status of the GNAS Locus. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 2021, 22 (14), pp.7570. ⟨10.3390/ijms22147570⟩. ⟨hal-03288514⟩

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