Altered G(s) and adenylate cyclase activity in human GH-secreting pituitary adenomas

L. Vallar, A. Spada, G. Giannattasio

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G(s) and G(i) are guanine nucleotide-binding, heterotrimer proteins that regulate the activity of adenylate cyclase, and are responsible for transferring stimulatory and inhibitory hormonal signals, respectively, from cell surface receptors to the enzyme catalytic unit. These proteins can be directly activated by agents such as GTP and analogues, fluoride and magnesium. Decreased amounts of G(s) and G(i), and even the absence of G(s), have been described, whereas an altered G(s) has been reported in a cultured cell line (UNC variant of S49 lymphoma cells), but has never been observed in human disease states. We have found a profoundly altered G(s) protein in a group of human growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas, characterized by high secretory activity and intracellular cyclic AMP levels. In the membranes from these tumours no stimultion of adenylate cyclase activity by growth hormone-releasing hormone, by GTP or by fluoride was observed. Indeed, the last two agents caused an inhibition, probably mediated by G(i). In contrast, adenylate cyclase stimulation by Mg2+ was enormously increased. This altered pattern of adenylate cyclase regulation was reproduced when a cholate extract of the tumour membranes (which contains G proteins) was reconstituted with G(s)-free, cyc- S49 cell membranes. Inasmuch as secretion from somatotrophic cells is known to be a cAMP-dependent funtion, the alteration of G(s) could be the direct cause of the high secretory activity of the tumours in which it occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-568
Number of pages3
Issue number6148
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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