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North Bethesda, MD, United States

Bimpaki E.I.,SEGEN | Iliopoulos D.,Harvard University | Moraitis A.,SEGEN | Stratakis C.A.,SEGEN
Clinical Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Purpose Massive macronodular adrenocortical disease (MMAD) may be caused by aberrant microRNA expression. To determine the microRNA profile in MMAD and identify putative microRNA-gene target pairs involved in adrenal tumourigenesis. Experimental design We performed microRNA microarray analysis in 10 patients with ACTH-independent Cushing syndrome caused by MMAD (ages 39-60 years) and four normal adrenal cortex samples were used as controls. Microarray data were validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Identification of potential microRNA-gene target pairs implicated in MMAD pathogenesis has been performed by integrating our microRNA data with previously obtained cDNA microarray data. Experimental validation of specific microRNA gene targets was performed by transfection experiments and luciferase assay. Results A total of 37 microRNAs were differentially expressed between MMAD and normal tissues; 16 microRNAs were down-regulated, including miR-200b and miR-203, whereas 21 microRNAs were up-regulated, miR-210 and miR-484 among them. Comparison of microRNA data with different clinicopathological parameters revealed miR-130a and miR-382 as putative diagnostic MMAD markers. Interestingly, we detected miR-200b targeting directly Matrin 3 (MATR3) expression in an adrenocortical cancer cell line (H295R). Conclusions MicroRNAs appear to have distinct regulatory effects in MMAD, including an association with clinical presentation and severity of the disease, expressed by the degree of hypercortisolism. This is the first investigation of microRNAs in MMAD, a disease with complex pathogenesis; the data indicate that specific microRNAs such as miR-200b may play a significant role in MMAD formation and/or progression. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Xekouki P.,SEGEN | Hatch M.M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Lin L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Rodrigo D.A.,SEGEN | And 10 more authors.
Endocrine-Related Cancer | Year: 2012

KCNJ5 mutations were recently described in primary hyperaldosteronism (PH or Conn's syndrome). The frequency of these mutations in PH and the way KCNJ5 defects cause disease remain unknown. A total of 53 patients with PH have been seen at the National Institutes of Health over the last 12 years. Their peripheral and tumor DNAs (the latter from 16 that were operated) were screened for KCNJ5 mutations; functional studies on the identified defects were performed after transient transfection. Only two mutations were identified, and both in the tumor DNA only. There were no germline sequencing defects in any of the patients except for known synonymous variants of the KCNJ5 gene. One mutation was the previously described c.G451C alteration; the other was a novel one in the same codon: c.G451A; both lead to the same amino acid substitution (G151R) in the KCNJ5 protein. Functional studies confirmed previous findings that both mutations caused loss of channel selectivity and a positive shift in the reversal potential. In conclusion, the KCNJ5 protein was strongly expressed in the zona glomerulosa of normal adrenal glands but showed variable expression in the aldosterone-producing adenomas with and without mutation. The rate of KCNJ5 mutations among patients with PH and/or their tumors is substantially lower than what was previously reported. The G151R amino acid substitution appears to be the most frequent one so far detected in PH, despite additional nucleotide changes. The mutation causes loss of this potassium channel's selectivity and may assist in the design of new therapies for PH. © 2012 Society for Endocrinology Printed in Great Britain. Source

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