Different expression of protein kinase A (PKA) regulatory subunits in cortisol-secreting adrenocortical tumors: Relationship with cell proliferation

G. Mantovani, A. G. Lania, S. Bondioni, E. Peverelli, C. Pedroni, S. Ferrero, C. Pellegrini, L. Vicentini, G. Arnaldi, S. Bosari, P. Beck-Peccoz, A. Spada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The four regulatory subunits (R1A, R1B, R2A, R2B) of protein kinase A (PKA) are differentially expressed in several cancer cell lines and exert distinct roles in growth control. Mutations of the R1A gene have been found in patients with Carney complex and in a minority of sporadic primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of PKA regulatory subunits in non-PPNAD adrenocortical tumors causing ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome and to test the impact of differential expression of these subunits on cell growth. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated a defective expression of R2B in all cortisol-secreting adenomas (n = 16) compared with the normal counterpart, while both R1A and R2A were expressed at high levels in the same tissues. Conversely, carcinomas (n = 5) showed high levels of all subunits. Sequencing of R1A and R2B genes revealed a wild type sequence in all tissues. The effect of R1/R2 ratio on proliferation was assessed in mouse adrenocortical Y-1 cells. The R2-selective cAMP analogue 8-Cl-cAMP dose-dependently inhibited Y-1 cell proliferation and induced apoptosis, while the R1-selective cAMP analogue 8-HA-cAMP stimulated cell proliferation. Finally, R2B gene silencing induced up-regulation of R1A protein, associated with an increase in cell proliferation. In conclusion, we propose that a high R1/R2 ratio favors the proliferation of well differentiated and hormone producing adrenocortical cells, while unbalanced expression of these subunits is not required for malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Volume314
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008

Keywords

  • Adrenocortical tumors
  • Apoptosis
  • cAMP
  • PKA
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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