DNA point mutations of the TSH receptor and of the α subunit of the stimulatory GTP-binding protein (Gsα) have been suggested as major causes of hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas. However, significant differences in the prevalence of these mutations (from 0.3 to 84%) have been found in different populations. The present study was designed to evaluate further the presence of mutations in discrete fragments of cDNA encoding critical regions of the TSH receptor and of the Gsα involved in signal transduction and cAMP production. Genomic DNA extracted from 15 thyroid adenomas and surrounding quiescent thyroid tissues was used as a template to amplify four DNA fragments of TSH receptor and one DNA fragment of Gsα. TSH receptor and Gsα DNAs were analyzed by a number of techniques. We did not detect any mutations (new or previously described) in our patients. These results confirm that the causes of solitary toxic adenomas are protean, and only some of them may be somatic DNA point mutations. Since the clinical features of solitary toxic adenoma are homogeneous, it could be important to establish the specific molecular defect underlying each case, in order to follow up the patients and to assess their clinical evolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas