Gene Summary

Gene:DRD2; dopamine receptor D2
Aliases: D2R, D2DR
Summary:This gene encodes the D2 subtype of the dopamine receptor. This G-protein coupled receptor inhibits adenylyl cyclase activity. A missense mutation in this gene causes myoclonus dystonia; other mutations have been associated with schizophrenia. Alternative splicing of this gene results in two transcript variants encoding different isoforms. A third variant has been described, but it has not been determined whether this form is normal or due to aberrant splicing. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:D(2) dopamine receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: DRD2 (cancer-related)

Mukoyama N, Yoshimi A, Goto A, et al.
An Analysis of Behavioral and Genetic Risk Factors for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Japanese Subjects.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2016; 39(11):1852-1858 [PubMed] Related Publications
There are individual differences in the frequency of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in cancer patients. We investigated the individual variability in susceptibility to CINV with focus on both behavioral factors and genetic factors in Japanese cancer patients. We performed a prospective study to investigate the association between patient attributes (backgrounds and habits as well as gene polymorphisms) and anorexia, nausea, or vomiting in 55 Japanese cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy at Nagoya University Hospital. We found that gender (female), use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, susceptibility to motion sickness, and anxiety were associated with the frequency of CINV. Gene polymorphisms of rs1076560 (dopamine D2 receptor gene), rs6766410 (serotonin 5-HT3C receptor gene) and rs4680 (catechol-O-methyltransferase gene) were also associated. Our data suggest that these attributes may thus be risk factors for CINV. Our results provide novel information that can be used to predict the incidence of CINV in Japanese patients undergoing chemotherapy; this can help provide a substantial improvement in supportive care for patients with different types of cancer.

Akbari ME, Kashani FL, Ahangari G, et al.
The effects of spiritual intervention and changes in dopamine receptor gene expression in breast cancer patients.
Breast Cancer. 2016; 23(6):893-900 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females in Iran and in most of the developed countries. Studies have shown that having chronic stress in individuals predisposes several types of cancer including breast cancer. Research results showed that spiritual factors correlate with indices of physical consequences such as heart disease, cancer, and death, so do psychiatric conditions and changes in receptor gene expression in depression, anxiety, and social dysfunction. Different studies demonstrated the role of neurotransmitters in occurrence and progression of cancers. They affected cells by their various types of receptors. An effective gene in mental and physical conditions is Dopamine receptor. Accordingly, the study was conducted to evaluate effects of psychotherapy (spiritual intervention) on changes in Dopamine receptor gene expressions in breast cancer patients. 90 female volunteers, including 30 healthy individuals and 60 diagnosed with breast cancer, considering exclusion criteria, were selected for the purpose of the study. The breast cancer patients were further categorized into experimental and control groups of 30 each. Blood samples were collected both prior to and following the spiritual intervention to analyze changes in their dopamine gene receptor expressions. We observed that DRD2-DRD4 in the control group (breast cancer patients) PBMC increased compared to healthy individuals. Also, DRD2-DRD4 in intervention group PBMC decreased compared to the control group and to even lower than those of healthy individuals. The findings were of great significance in management and treatment of cancer because they revealed the possibility of using alternative treatments (e.g., spiritual interventions) apart from conventional medical treatments.

Peculis R, Balcere I, Rovite V, et al.
Polymorphisms in MEN1 and DRD2 genes are associated with the occurrence and characteristics of pituitary adenomas.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2016; 175(2):145-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Although pituitary adenomas (PAs) affect a significant proportion of the population, only a fraction have the potential to become clinically relevant during an individual's lifetime, causing hormonal imbalance or complications due to mass effect. The overwhelming majority of cases are sporadic and without a clear familial history, and the genotype-phenotype correlation in PA patients is poorly understood. Our aim was to investigate the involvement of genes known for their role in familial cases on drug response and tumor suppression in the development and pathology of PAs in a patient group from Latvia.
DESIGN: The study included 143 cases and 354 controls, we investigated the role of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in seven genes (SSTR2, SSTR5, DRD2, MEN1, AIP, GNAS, and PRKAR1A) associated with pituitary tumor occurrence, phenotype, and clinical symptoms.
METHODS: Genotyping of 96 tag and nonsynonymous SNPs was performed in the genomic regions of interest.
RESULTS: We discovered a significant association (OR=17.8, CI 0.95=2.18-145.5, P=0.0002) between a rare MEN1 mutation (rs2959656) and clinically active adenoma in our patients. Additionally, rs7131056 at DRD2 was associated with a higher occurrence of extrasellar growth in patients with prolactinoma and somatotropinoma (OR=2.79, CI 0.95=1.58-4.95, P=0.0004).
CONCLUSIONS: rs2959656, a nonsynonymous variant in MEN1, is associated with the development of clinically active PA. Furthermore, rs7131056 in DRD2 contributes to either faster growth of the adenoma or reduced symptomatic presentation, allowing PAs to become larger before detection.

Ilhan M, Kahraman OT, Turan S, et al.
Does DRD2 polymorphism influence the clinical characteristics of prolactinoma?
Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2015; 76(5):614-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Genetic alterations explaining the clinical variability of prolactinomas still could not be clarified and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) polymorphism is a putative candidate for the variable response to dopaminergic treatment. The present study was conducted to investigate the influence of DRD2 TaqI A polymorphism on initial and follow-up characteristics of prolactinoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-two patients with prolactinoma and 98 age and gender matched control subjects were recruited to the case-control study. Serum prolactin levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and DRD2 polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction length polymorphism analysis.
RESULTS: Decrease of prolactin levels and the tumor shrinkage after cabergoline treatment were 93.9±5.9% and 58.3±33.1% in microadenomas and 96.1±6.1% and 51.7±29.3 in macroadenomas (P=0.02 and P>0.05, respectively). We observed no significant difference for DRD2 genotypes and the alleles between the patients and healthy group (P>0.05). Prolactin levels before treatment were correlated with tumor diameter before and after treatment and the percentage of prolactin decrease with treatment (P<0.001 r=0.58, P<0.001 r=0.40 and P<0.001 r=0.47, respectively). Tumor diameter before the treatment was also correlated with the tumor diameter after the treatment (P<0.001 r=0.64) and the percentage of prolactin decrease (P=0.01 r=0.30). However, no significant association was found between characteristics of prolactinoma and DRD2 genotypes and alleles (P>0.05).
CONCLUSION: This study revealed that DRD2 TaqI A receptor polymorphism was not associated with the development of prolactinoma and its clinical characteristics. Future studies are needed to clarify the clinical implications of genetic alterations in prolactinoma.

Cherubini E, Di Napoli A, Noto A, et al.
Genetic and Functional Analysis of Polymorphisms in the Human Dopamine Receptor and Transporter Genes in Small Cell Lung Cancer.
J Cell Physiol. 2016; 231(2):345-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
The regulatory role of dopamine (DA) in endocrine, cardiovascular and renal functions has been extensively studied and used for clinical purposes. More recently DA has been indicated as a regulatory molecule for immune cells and malignant cell proliferation. We assessed the expression and the functional role DA, DA receptors, and transporters in primary small cell lung cancer (SCLC). By HPLC DA plasma levels were more elevated in SCLC patients in comparison with NSCLC patients and healthy controls. SCLC cell expressed DA D1- and D2-like receptors and membrane and vesicular transporters at protein and mRNA levels. We also investigated the effects of independent D1- or D2-like receptor stimulation on SCLC cell cultures. DA D1 receptor agonist SKF38393 induced the increase of cAMP levels and DARPP-32 protein expression without affecting SCLC growth rate. Cell treatment with the DA D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 inhibited SKF38393 effects. In contrast, the DA D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (10 μM) counteracted, in a dose and time dependent way, SCLC cell proliferation, it did not affect cAMP levels and decreased phosphorylated AKT that was induced by DA D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride. However, in only one SCLC line, stimulation of DA D2 receptor failed to inhibit cell proliferation in vitro. This effect was associated to the existence of rs6275 and rs6277 polymorphisms in the D2 gene. These results gave more insight into DA control of lung cancer cell behavior and suggested the existence of different SCLC phenotypes.

Mertens F, Gremeaux L, Chen J, et al.
Pituitary tumors contain a side population with tumor stem cell-associated characteristics.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(4):481-504 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pituitary adenomas cause significant endocrine and mass-related morbidity. Little is known about the mechanisms that underlie pituitary tumor pathogenesis. In the present study, we searched for a side population (SP) in pituitary tumors representing cells with high efflux capacity and potentially enriched for tumor stem cells (TSCs). Human pituitary adenomas contain a SP irrespective of hormonal phenotype. This adenoma SP, as well as the purified SP (pSP) that is depleted from endothelial and immune cells, is enriched for cells that express 'tumor stemness' markers and signaling pathways, including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-linked factors. Pituitary adenomas were found to contain self-renewing sphere-forming cells, considered to be a property of TSCs. These sphere-initiating cells were recovered in the pSP. Because benign pituitary adenomas do not grow in vitro and have failed to expand in immunodeficient mice, the pituitary tumor cell line AtT20 was further used. We identified a SP in this cell line and found it to be more tumorigenic than the non-SP 'main population'. Of the two EMT regulatory pathways tested, the inhibition of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) signaling reduced EMT-associated cell motility in vitro as well as xenograft tumor growth, whereas the activation of TGFβ had no effect. The human adenoma pSP also showed upregulated expression of the pituitary stem cell marker SOX2. Pituitaries from dopamine receptor D2 knockout (Drd2(-/-)) mice that bear prolactinomas contain more pSP, Sox2(+), and colony-forming cells than WT glands. In conclusion, we detected a SP in pituitary tumors and identified TSC-associated characteristics. The present study adds new elements to the unraveling of pituitary tumor pathogenesis and may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

Gao H, Wang F, Lan X, et al.
Lower PRDM2 expression is associated with dopamine-agonist resistance and tumor recurrence in prolactinomas.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:272 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dopamine agonists (DAs) are the first-line treatment for prolactinomas, which account for 25-30% of functioning pituitary adenomas, and bromocriptine (BRC) is the only commercially available DAs in China. However, tumors are resistant to therapy in 5-18% of patients.
METHODS: The exomes of six responsive prolactinomas and six resistant prolactinomas were analyzed by whole-exome sequencing.
RESULTS: Using stringent variant calling and filtering parameters, ten somatic variants that were mainly associated with DNA repair or protein metabolic processes were identified. New resistant variants were identified in multiple genes including PRDM2, PRG4, MUC4, DSPP, DPCR1, RP1L1, MX2, POTEF, C1orf170, and KRTAP10-3. The expression of these genes was then quantified by real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) in 12 prolactinomas and 3 normal pituitary glands. The mRNA levels of PRDM2 were approximately five-fold lower in resistant prolactinomas than in responsive tumors (p < 0.05). PRDM2 protein levels were lower in resistant prolactinomas than in responsive tumors, as determined by Western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis (p < 0.05). Overexpression of PRDM2 upregulated dopamine receptor D2 (D2DR) and inhibited the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in MMQ cells. PRDM2 showed a synergistic effect with BRC on the inhibition of prolactin (PRL) secretion and MMQ cell viability, and low PRDM2 expression was associated with tumor recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: PRDM2 downregulation may play a role in dopamine-agonist resistance and tumor recurrence in prolactinomas.

Pornour M, Ahangari G, Hejazi SH, et al.
Dopamine receptor gene (DRD1-DRD5) expression changes as stress factors associated with breast cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(23):10339-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females worldwide and a most prevalent malignancy in Iranian women. Chronic stress may make an important contribution to cancer, especially in the breast. Numerous studies showed roles of neurotransmitters in the occurrence and progression of cancers which are mediated by their various types of receptors. This study was conducted to evaluate alterations in the expression profile of dopamine receptor genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) as stress factors in breast cancer patients and the human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 30 patients and 30 healthy individuals. Total mRNA was extracted from PBMC and MCF-7 cells and RT-PCR was performed to confirm the presence of five dopamine receptors (DRD1-DRD5). Expression changes of dopamine receptor genes were evaluated by real time PCR. We observed that DRD2-DRD4 in PBMCs of breast cancer patients were increased compared to healthy individuals. In addition, all dopamine receptor subtypes but DRD1 were expressed in MCF-7 cells. Therefore, alterations of these receptors as stress factorsshould be assessed for selecting appropriate drugs such as D2-like agonists for treatment of breast cancer after performing complimentary tests. Determining the expression profile of dopamine receptor genes thus seems promising.

Gabalec F, Drastikova M, Cesak T, et al.
Dopamine 2 and somatostatin 1-5 receptors coexpression in clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas.
Physiol Res. 2015; 64(3):369-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study investigated quantitated expression of dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) and somatostatin receptors of the five types (SSTR1-SSTR5) in a large series of clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas (CNFAs). Co-expression of these receptors in individual adenomas was studied as well as correlation between receptor types. Adenoma tissue from 198 patients who underwent surgery for CNFAs was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR. D2R and SSTR1-3 mRNA was expressed in all 198 adenomas. SSTR4 and SSTR5 were detectable in 85 % and 61 % of adenomas, respectively. Expression of D2R was significantly higher than that of the somatostatin receptors. The median relative expressions were as follows from highest D2R > SSTR3 > SSTR2 > SSTR1 > SSTR5 > SSTR4. High relative expression (ratio to beta-glucuronidase mRNA > 1) of D2R was found in 60 % of tumors, high expression of SSTR1 in 7.5 %, SSTR2 in 7 %, SSTR3 in 4 % and SSTR5 in 0.5 %. The quantity of D2R correlated positively with expression of SSTR2 and SSTR3, and negatively with SSTR1 and SSTR5. Among histological adenoma types, SSTR1 was significantly higher in null-cell adenomas and SSTR3 was lower in silent corticotroph adenomas. In conclusions, in CNFAs, high expression of somatostatin receptors is much less common than that of D2R, and co-expression of both these receptors is exceptional. D2R and SSTR3 seem to be the most promising targets for pharmacological treatment.

Vieira Neto L, Wildemberg LE, Moraes AB, et al.
Dopamine receptor subtype 2 expression profile in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas and in vivo response to cabergoline therapy.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015; 82(5):739-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To determine the dopamine receptor subtype 2 (DR2) mRNA levels and protein expression and to evaluate the effect of adjuvant cabergoline therapy on tumour volume (TV) in patients with postoperative residual nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA).
METHODS: The mRNA expression was quantified by real-time RT-PCR (TaqMan(®)), and protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Tumours were classified according to the percentage of immunostained cells for DR2 as scores 1 (<50% of stained cells) or 2 (≥50%). Cabergoline was started at least 6 months after surgery in nine patients with residual tumours (3 mg/week). The cabergoline effect was prospectively evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging using three-dimensional volume calculation. TV reduction >25% was considered significant.
RESULTS: The DR2 mRNA expression was variable but was observed in 100% of the samples (N = 20). DR2 protein expression was also observed in all the tumours (N = 34). Twenty-nine tumours (85%) were classified as score 2. The median DR2 mRNA expression was higher in the tumours classified as score 2 compared with score 1 (P = 0·007). TV reduction with cabergoline therapy was observed in 67% of the patients (6/9). The median TV before and after 6 months of treatment was 1·90 cm(3) (0·61-8·74) and 1·69 cm(3) (0·36-4·20) [P = 0·02], respectively.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, DR2 is expressed in all adenomas and the majority of the patients in this study displayed tumour shrinkage on cabergoline (CAB) therapy. Thus, CAB might be useful in adjuvant therapy in NFPA patients with residual tumours after surgery.

Murata Y, Nishioka M, Bundo M, et al.
Comprehensive DNA methylation analysis of human neuroblastoma cells treated with blonanserin.
Neurosci Lett. 2014; 563:123-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Blonanserin is a second-generation antipsychotic drug for schizophrenia. The pharmacological actions of blonanserin are shown to be the antagonism of dopamine receptor 2 and serotonin receptors. However, its molecular mechanisms in brain cells have not been fully characterized. Accumulating evidence suggests that antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers show epigenetic effects on a wide range of genes in animal and cellular models. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis targeting 479,814 CpG sites of cultured human neuroblastoma cells administered with blonanserin. We found that 3,057 CpG sites showed statistically significant changes in DNA methylation at two different doses of blonanserin (1.36 nM and 13.6 nM). These included hypermethylated CpG sites that were enriched in genes related to axonogenesis and cell morphogenesis involved in neuron differentiation. We also showed that the global effect on DNA methylome depends on the concentration of the drug. With a high dose of blonanserin, the overall methylation levels across all CpG sites significantly increased. These increases in DNA methylation were prominent in the CpG sites distant from promoter regions. We further examined DNA methylation changes in specific genes implicated for the actions of antipsychotic drugs, such as the dopamine receptor 2 (DRD2) gene and the serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) gene. We observed that CpG sites that were located within DRD2 and HTR2A genes were significantly hypermethylated by blonanserin. The DNA methylation changes induced by the treatment with blonanserin will be useful for understanding its pharmacological actions at the cellular level.

Komatsu S, Ichikawa D, Hirajima S, et al.
Clinical impact of predicting CCND1 amplification using plasma DNA in superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Dig Dis Sci. 2014; 59(6):1152-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study was designed to evaluate the clinical benefit of predicting the cyclin D1 (CCND1) status using cell-free plasma DNA in superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients.
METHODS: The ratio of the CCND1 (11q13) dosage to the DRD2 (11q22-23) dosage (C/D ratio) as the CCND1 copy number was evaluated. This study was divided into three steps: (1) demonstration of the feasibility, (2) evaluation of whether the plasma C/D ratio assay could monitor tumor dynamics, and (3) a validation study in 63 consecutive superficial ESCC (pTis-T1) patients and 40 healthy volunteers.
RESULTS: (1) The plasma C/D ratio was significantly higher (p = 0.0369) in superficial ESCC patients than in the controls in a preliminary test. (2) The high plasma C/D ratio appeared to reflect the tumor levels of the CCND1 status and was reduced in postoperative plasma samples (p = 0.1154) and samples following endoscopic resection (p = 0.0845). (3) Validation analysis revealed that the plasma C/D ratio was significantly higher in superficial ESCC patients than in controls (p < 0.0001). The frequency of recurrence was significantly higher (p = 0.0198), and recurrence-free survival was significantly shorter (p = 0.0075) in patients with a high plasma C/D ratio. Moreover, a high C/D ratio was shown to be an independent risk factor for recurrence on multivariate analysis [p = 0.0334; odds ratio 10.58 (range 1.203-93.23)].
CONCLUSION: The prediction of CCND1 amplification by plasma DNA may be a new complementary clinical biomarker for recurrence in patients with superficial ESCC.

Jiang X, Konkalmatt P, Yang Y, et al.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the dopamine D2 receptor increase inflammation and fibrosis in human renal proximal tubule cells.
Hypertension. 2014; 63(3):e74-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) negatively regulates inflammation in mouse renal proximal tubule cells (RPTCs), and lack or downregulation of the receptor in mice increases the vulnerability to renal inflammation independent of blood pressure. Some common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs6276, rs6277, and rs1800497) in the human DRD2 gene are associated with decreased D2R expression and function, as well as high blood pressure. We tested the hypothesis that human RPTCs (hRPTCs) expressing these SNPs have increased expression of inflammatory and injury markers. We studied immortalized hRPTCs carrying D2R SNPs and compared them with cells carrying no D2R SNPs. RPTCs with D2R SNPs had decreased D2R expression and function. The expressions of the proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α and the profibrotic transforming growth factor-β1 and its signaling targets Smad3 and Snail1 were increased in hRPTC with D2R SNPs. These cells also showed induction of epithelial mesenchymal transition and production of extracellular matrix proteins, assessed by increased vimentin, fibronectin 1, and collagen I a1. To test the specificity of these D2R SNP effects, hRPTC with D2R SNPs were transfected with a plasmid encoding wild-type DRD2. The expression of D2R was increased and that of transforming growth factor-β1, Smad3, Snail1, vimentin, fibronectin 1, and collagen I a1 was decreased in hRPTC with D2R SNPs transfected with wild-type DRD2 compared with hRPTC-D2R SNP transfected with empty vector. These data support the hypothesis that D2R function has protective effects in hRPTCs and suggest that carriers of these SNPs may be prone to chronic renal disease and high blood pressure.

van der Pas R, Feelders RA, Gatto F, et al.
Preoperative normalization of cortisol levels in Cushing's disease after medical treatment: consequences for somatostatin and dopamine receptor subtype expression and in vitro response to somatostatin analogs and dopamine agonists.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(12):E1880-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Corticotroph pituitary adenomas often highly express the dopamine 2 receptor (D₂R) and somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (sst₅). The sst₂ expression is relatively low, likely resulting from downregulating effects of high cortisol levels. This may explain why the sst₂-preferring somatostatin analog octreotide, compared with the multi-receptor-targeting somatostatin analog pasireotide, is generally ineffective in Cushing's disease.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to compare sst and D₂R expression levels between adenomas from patients with elevated and normalized preoperative urinary free cortisol excretion.
PATIENTS AND DESIGN: Corticotroph adenoma tissue was examined from patients from group 1 (n = 22; elevated preoperative urinary free cortisol) and group 2 (n = 11; mean duration of preoperative normocortisolism 10 weeks). Somatotroph adenoma tissue from 10 acromegalic patients was examined to compare receptor expression profiles.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We evaluated receptor mRNA and protein expression levels and effects of octreotide, pasireotide, and cabergoline on ACTH secretion by cultured human corticotroph adenoma cells.
RESULTS: The sst₂ mRNA expression in group 2 was 10-fold higher than in group 1 (P < .01), even comparable to that in somatotroph adenomas. There were no statistically significant differences in sst₅ and D₂R mRNA expression or in sst₂, sst₅, and D₂R protein expression between both groups of corticotroph adenomas. In responders, octreotide (n = 2 out of 4; -30.5% ± 10.4%) was less potent than pasireotide (n = 5 out of 6; -47.0% ± 4.2%) and cabergoline (n = 3 out of 4; -41.9% ± 3.1%) with respect to inhibition of ACTH secretion by adenomas from group 2.
CONCLUSIONS: After achieving normocortisolism induced by medical therapy, cortisol-mediated sst₂ downregulation on corticotroph adenomas appears to be a reversible process at the mRNA but not at the protein level. Octreotide remains less potent than pasireotide and cabergoline with respect to in vitro inhibition of ACTH secretion. Whether sustained normocortisolism induced by medical therapy induces re-expression of functional sst₂ protein in corticotroph adenomas and whether this increases the ACTH-lowering potency of octreotide remains to be established.

Saveanu A, Sebag F, Guillet B, et al.
Targeting dopamine receptors subtype 2 (D2DR) in pheochromocytomas: head-to-head comparison between in vitro and in vivo findings.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(12):E1951-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Dopamine subtype 2 receptors (D2DRs) are overexpressed in pheochromocytomas (PHEOs). D2DR-expressing tumors can be visualized by iodine-123 labeled iodobenzamide (¹²³I-IBZM) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
OBJECTIVE: The hypothesis of this study was that D2DR high expression in PHEOs would allow in vivo visualization through ¹²³I-IBZM SPECT. The present prospective pilot study aims to evaluate the performance of ¹²³I-IBZM SPECT in PHEOs and to correlate the tumor uptake with D2DR expression in tumor samples after surgery. SETTING, MATERIALS, AND METHODS: Ten unrelated patients with PHEOs were evaluated, prior to adrenalectomy, with ¹²³I-IBZM SPECT (whole body scan at 4 and 24 h after the injection; and SPECT centered on the abdomen at 24 h). D2DR mRNA and protein expressions were evaluated in all tumors by quantitative real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Intensity of tumoral uptake of ¹²³I-IBZM was measured.
RESULTS: All PHEOs express D2DR mRNA (ranging from 2.1 to 14.7 copy/copy β-glucuronidase) and protein (immunostaining score: moderate or strong in 9 of 10 cases). However, none of the patients (0%) showed an increased tumor uptake of ¹²³I-IBZM.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that ¹²³I-IBZM is not a useful radiopharmaceutical in the detection and characterization of PHEOs despite D2DR expression. Our findings and data from the related literature may support different hypotheses to explain the failure of D2DR targeting by ¹²³I-IBZM.

Flores KG, Erdei E, Luo L, et al.
A pilot study of genetic variants in dopamine regulators with indoor tanning and melanoma.
Exp Dermatol. 2013; 22(9):576-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many people frequently tan indoors despite being aware of the increased risk of melanoma. Ultraviolet radiation is hypothesized to modify biological reward pathways, for example, through the dopamine neurotransmitter system, to reinforce tanning behaviour. In this pilot study, we relied on questionnaire and DNA data from a recently completed case-control study to examine 67 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and related haplotypes in five dopamine receptor and drug metabolism genes in relation to indoor tanning among controls. We also examined the association between individual SNPS and likelihood of melanoma, adjusting for or stratifying on indoor tanning status. In candidate and haplotype gene analyses, variants only in the DRD2 dopamine receptor and ANKK1 signalling genes were positively associated with indoor tanning use among controls; only associations for ANKK1 remained statistically significant (P < 0.05) after adjustment. Several SNPs in ANKK1 and DRD2 associated with indoor tanning among controls were also found to be associated with increased risk of melanoma. Upon stratifying for indoor tanning status, one ANKK1 SNP was positively associated with melanoma among non-tanners, while three DRD2 SNPS were positively associated with melanoma among tanners or non-tanners, depending on the SNP. These alleles represent important genomic regions to further explore addictive tanning behaviour.

Sheikhpour M, Ahangari G, Sadeghizadeh M, Deezagi A
A novel report of apoptosis in human lung carcinoma cells using selective agonist of D2-like dopamine receptors: a new approach for the treatment of human non-small cell lung cancer.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2013 Apr-Jun; 26(2):393-402 [PubMed] Related Publications
In our previous study, a relationship between low expression of D2-like dopamine receptor genes and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) disease was found. In this new research, by using selective agonist of these receptors, Bromocriptine (BR), we attempted to activate D2-like expression and apoptotic induction in a selective cell line of NSCLC. In addition, the relationship of apoptotic response of human lung carcinoma cells to BR and D2- dopamine receptor genes is investigated. Human lung cancer (QU-DB) cells were treated by five doses of BR at 48 h and cell viability was determined by MTT assay. The gene expression pattern of D2-like dopamine receptor Genes was studied by Real Time PCR. Nuclear morphology of cells was monitored by DAPI flourescent staining then induction of DNA fragmentation by BR was shown in an agarose gel. Finally, the detection and quantification of apoptosis and its differentiation from necrosis was carried out by using Annecxin-V-Fluos Staining. In this study, it is demonstrated that BR inhibited the proliferation of human lung cancer cells and induced apoptosis in them. In addition, the probable relationship between D2-dopamine receptor genes expression and the development of apoptosis was found. In conclusion, BR is responsible for induction of apoptosis in human lung cancer cells and can be used in treatment of these tumoric cells. In addition, normal expression of D2 dopamine receptors was associated with apoptotic effect of BR on these cells.

Katoh M
Functional proteomics, human genetics and cancer biology of GIPC family members.
Exp Mol Med. 2013; 45:e26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GIPC1, GIPC2 and GIPC3 consist of GIPC homology 1 (GH1) domain, PDZ domain and GH2 domain. The regions around the GH1 and GH2 domains of GIPC1 are involved in dimerization and interaction with myosin VI (MYO6), respectively. The PDZ domain of GIPC1 is involved in interactions with transmembrane proteins [IGF1R, NTRK1, ADRB1, DRD2, TGFβR3 (transforming growth factorβ receptor type III), SDC4, SEMA4C, LRP1, NRP1, GLUT1, integrin α5 and VANGL2], cytosolic signaling regulators (APPL1 and RGS19) and viral proteins (HBc and HPV-18 E6). GIPC1 is an adaptor protein with dimerizing ability that loads PDZ ligands as cargoes for MYO6-dependent endosomal trafficking. GIPC1 is required for cell-surface expression of IGF1R and TGFβR3. GIPC1 is also required for integrin recycling during cell migration, angiogenesis and cytokinesis. On early endosomes, GIPC1 assembles receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and APPL1 for activation of PI3K-AKT signaling, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and RGS19 for attenuation of inhibitory Gα signaling. GIPC1 upregulation in breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers promotes tumor proliferation and invasion, whereas GIPC1 downregulation in cervical cancer with human papillomavirus type 18 infection leads to resistance to cytostatic transforming growth factorβ signaling. GIPC2 is downregulated in acute lymphocytic leukemia owing to epigenetic silencing, while Gipc2 is upregulated in estrogen-induced mammary tumors. Somatic mutations of GIPC2 occur in malignant melanoma, and colorectal and ovarian cancers. Germ-line mutations of the GIPC3 or MYO6 gene cause nonsyndromic hearing loss. As GIPC proteins are involved in trafficking, signaling and recycling of RTKs, GPCRs, integrins and other transmembrane proteins, dysregulation of GIPCs results in human pathologies, such as cancer and hereditary deafness.

Athanasoulia AP, Sievers C, Uhr M, et al.
The effect of the ANKK1/DRD2 Taq1A polymorphism on weight changes of dopaminergic treatment in prolactinomas.
Pituitary. 2014; 17(3):240-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment with dopamine agonists in patients with prolactinomas has been associated with weight loss in short term studies. However, long-term studies on weight changes are lacking. Taq1A is a restriction fragment length polymorphism considered as a gene marker for the DRD2 gene. The presence of at least one A1 allele is linked to reduced brain dopaminergic activity due to reduced receptor binding and lower density of the dopamine 2 receptor. We aimed at testing the hypothesis that the dopaminergic treatment in prolactinoma patients leads to sustained weight loss and that the presence of diminished weight loss response under dopamine agonists is associated with the minor A1 allele of Taq1A.We included n = 44 patients (17 male and 27 female, 26 macroadenomas and 18 microadenomas) with prolactinomas treated with dopamine agonists. Outcome measures were weight and body mass index (BMI) change under dopaminergic treatment after 2 years with regard to Taq1A status and sex. We observed that the dopaminergic treatment leads to a significant mean weight loss of 3.1 ± 6.25 kg after 2 years. Regarding Taq1A polymorphisms, 21 patients were carriers of at least one A1 allele and 23 patients had a genotype of A2/A2. However, the presence of the A1 allele was neither associated with the mean BMI at baseline nor with an altered weight loss response under dopamine agonist therapy. Our results implicate that the dopaminergic treatment leads to a sustained weight loss in patients with prolactinomas after 2 years. However, there was no association to the A1 allele of Taq1A, observation that needs to be analysed in larger cohorts.

Yacqub-Usman K, Duong CV, Clayton RN, Farrell WE
Preincubation of pituitary tumor cells with the epidrugs zebularine and trichostatin A are permissive for retinoic acid-augmented expression of the BMP-4 and D2R genes.
Endocrinology. 2013; 154(5):1711-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Retinoic acid (RA)-induced expression of bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) inhibits in vitro and in vivo cell proliferation and ACTH synthesis in corticotroph-derived tumor cells. Reduced expression of BMP-4 in this adenoma subtype is associated with epigenomic silencing, and similar silencing mechanisms are also associated with the RA-responsive dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in somatolactotroph cells. We now show that preincubation with the epidrugs zebularine and trichostatin A is obligate and permissive for RA-induced expression of the BMP-4 and the D2R genes in pituitary tumor cells. Combined epidrug challenges are associated with marginal reduction in CpG island methylation. However, significant change to histone tail modifications toward those associated with expression-competent genes is apparent, whereas RA challenge alone or in combined incubations does not have an impact on these modifications. Epidrug-mediated and RA-augmented expression of endogenous BMP-4 increased or decreased cell proliferation and colony-forming efficiency in GH3 and AtT-20 pituitary tumor cells, respectively, recapitulating recent reports of challenges of these cells with exogenous ligand. The specificity of the BMP-4-mediated effects was further supported by knock-down experiments of the BMP-4 antagonist noggin (small interfering RNA [siRNA]). Knock-down of noggin, in the absence and the presence of epidrugs, induced and augmented BMP-4 expression, respectively. In cell proliferation assays, challenge with either epidrugs or siRNA led to significant increase in cell numbers at the 72-hour time point; however, in siRNA-treated cells coincubated with epidrugs, a significant increase was apparent at the 48-hour time point. These studies show the potential of combined drug challenges as a treatment option, where epidrug renders silenced genes responsive to conventional therapeutic options.

Gordiev M, Engstrom PF, Khasanov R, et al.
Genetic analysis of polymorphisms in dopamine receptor and transporter genes for association with smoking among cancer patients.
Eur Addict Res. 2013; 19(2):105-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Smoking among Russian cancer patients may be related to variations in the DRD2/ANKK1 (Taq1), DRD4 (exon III VNTR), and SLC6A3 genes.
METHODS: Seven hundred fifty patients provided smoking history and DNA.
RESULTS: Current smokers were more likely to be DRD2 A2 allele carriers versus nonsmokers (former/never smokers; 69 vs. 56%; OR = 1.69; 95% CI 1.13-2.53, p = 0.01) and former smokers (69 vs. 59%; OR = 1.54; 95% CI 0.97-2.46, p = 0.07). Ever smokers (current/former smokers) were more likely to be DRD2 A2 allele carriers versus never smokers (65 vs. 55%; OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.00-2.27, p = 0.05). The risk of current smoking among DRD2 A2 allele carriers was present if the DRD4 short allele was also present (OR = 1.76; 95% CI 1.12-2.78, p = 0.02), and the risk of ever smoking among DRD2 A2 allele carriers was present if the DRD4 short allele was also present (OR = 1.62; 95% CI 1.02-2.55, p = 0.04). DRD2 A2 allele carriers had a shorter period of previous abstinence versus DRD2 A1 carriers (p = 0.02). Effects were not statistically significant when controlling for multiple comparisons.
CONCLUSIONS: The DRD2 A2 allele may increase the risk of smoking among cancer patients, convergent with studies using non-Western samples. However, additional replication is needed.

Cuny T, Mohamed A, Graillon T, et al.
Somatostatin receptor sst2 gene transfer in human prolactinomas in vitro: impact on sensitivity to dopamine, somatostatin and dopastatin, in the control of prolactin secretion.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012; 355(1):106-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: As prolactinomas fail to respond to dopamine agonist (DA) in 10-20% of cases, we hypothesized that somatostatin subtype 2 receptor (sst2) overexpression in DA-resistant prolactinomas may enhance suppression of prolactine (PRL) using chimeric agonist (dopastatin) that simultaneously binds sst2 and the dopamine subtype 2 receptor (D2DR).
DESIGN AND METHODS: PRL suppression by octreotide, sst5 agonist, sst2-D2DR agonist (BIM-23A760 dopastatin) and cabergoline was assessed in primary cultures of seven DA-resistant prolactinomas overexpressing sst2.
RESULTS: sst2 was effectively overexpressed via adenoviral expression in prolactinomas (38.1±7.4 vs. 0.1±0.1 copy/copy β-Gus) and induced octreotide sst2-mediated PRL suppression that remained lower than that induced by DA. BIM-23A760 inhibited PRL similarly to cabergoline both in the control and sst2-expressing cells. Antagonist experiments confirmed predominant dopaminergic effect in dopastatin activity.
CONCLUSION: sst2 was successfully overexpressed in prolactinomas. However BIM-23A760 was unable to enhance PRL suppression underlining a predominant dopaminergic contribution in its action.

Kato M, Inoshita N, Sugiyama T, et al.
Differential expression of genes related to drug responsiveness between sparsely and densely granulated somatotroph adenomas.
Endocr J. 2012; 59(3):221-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
There are two main subtypes of GH-producing pituitary adenoma: densely granulated (DG-type) and sparsely granulated (SG-type). Despite the difference in drug responsiveness between the two subtypes, their molecular mechanisms remain unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate the differential expression of genes related to drug responsiveness between the two subtypes of somatotroph adenoma, and their relationship to the clinical characteristics. Eighty-two acromegaly patients (44 DG-type, 38 SG-type) were studied retrospectively. Clinical characteristics were compared between the two subtypes. Among them, 36 tumor tissue specimens (19 DG-type, 17 SG-type) were available for investigation of the expression of SSTR2, SSTR5 and D2R that are reported to be involved in drug responsiveness by realtime RT-PCR. Protein level was evaluated by immunohistochemical study. Patients with SG-type adenomas were younger in age and showed greater GH suppression by octreotide, but not by bromocriptin, and bigger in size and more invasiveness than DG-type adenomas. The mRNA expression of SSTR2 in DG-type adenomas were greater than those in SG-type adenomas and showed significantly positive correlation with GH suppression by octreotide. There was positive correlation between mRNA and protein levels of SSTR2. These data suggested that the differences of responsiveness to octreotide between DG- and SG-type adenomas are based on the expression levels of SSTR2.

Shimazu S, Shimatsu A, Yamada S, et al.
Resistance to dopamine agonists in prolactinoma is correlated with reduction of dopamine D2 receptor long isoform mRNA levels.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2012; 166(3):383-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Dopamine agonists normalize prolactin (PRL) levels and reduce tumour size in responsive prolactinoma. However, several cases have shown resistance to dopamine agonists upon initial treatment. Infrequently, prolactinoma initially responds, but then becomes refractory to prolonged treatment (secondary resistance). We investigated the possible mechanisms of resistance to dopamine agonists.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twelve cases of prolactinoma were surgically resected and classified according to the responsiveness of PRL levels and tumour size to dopamine agonists: good responders (n = 5), poor responders (n = 5), or secondary resistance (n = 2). We examined the expression of dopamine D(2) receptor (D(2)R) isoform (short: D(2)S and long: D(2)L) mRNA and protein. We investigated DNA methylation patterns in the promoter region of the DRD2 gene.
RESULTS: The predominant D(2)R isoform expressed in prolactinoma was D(2)L. Levels of D(2)L mRNA were significantly lower in secondary resistance and poor responders than in good responders. Expression of D(2)R protein was variable among cases. Almost no CpG sites of the DRD2 gene promoter region were methylated.
CONCLUSION: Resistance of prolactinoma to dopamine agonists is correlated with a reduction in D(2)L isoform mRNA levels. Silencing of the DRD2 gene by methylation in the promoter region is unlikely to play a role in dopamine agonist resistance in prolactinoma.

Su Z, Wang C, Wu J, et al.
Expression of dopamine 2 receptor subtype mRNA in clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.
Neurol Sci. 2012; 33(2):275-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dopamine receptor agonists (DAs) can reduce hormone release and tumor mass in the majority of prolactinomas, whereas such effects are controversial in clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). Whether expression of dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) is different in subgroups of NFPAs has not been fully elucidated. We assessed and compared D2R subtype (long: D2L and short: D2S) mRNA levels in subgroups of NFPAs by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). For both D2L and D2S mRNA, there were no significant differences among them. Only 21.6% of NFPAs showed relatively high D2R mRNA levels; furthermore, histopathological subtypes of those cases with relatively high D2R expression were gonadotropinomas and null-cell adenomas. These data suggest that DAs are effective only for a small proportion of NFPAs, and relatively high D2R expression may more possibly happen to a subset of gonadotropinomas and null-cell adenomas.

Gabalec F, Beranek M, Netuka D, et al.
Dopamine 2 receptor expression in various pathological types of clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas.
Pituitary. 2012; 15(2):222-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas account for about one-third of pituitary tumors. The majority of them are pathologically classified as gonadotropinomas or null-cell adenomas without hormonal expression. The rest represent silent corticotroph adenomas and plurihormonal tumors. Conservative therapy with dopamine agonists is effective in some cases only depending on the expression of dopamine 2 receptors (D2R). The aim of this study was to quantitatively estimate D2R expression in clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas and correlate the results with adenoma type according to pathological classification. Out of the 87 adenomas investigated, 63 expressed gonadotropins, 7 were silent corticotroph adenomas, 7 were plurihormonal tumors, and only 6 did not express any pituitary hormone on immunohistochemical investigation. With the use of the reverse transcriptase PCR technique, D2R mRNA was expressed in all adenomas with very heterogeneous quantity. The expression was very low in corticotroph adenomas (relative median quantity after normalization to housekeeping gene 0.01) and lower in plurihormonal tumors (median 0.4) than in gonadotroph (median 1.3) and null-cell adenomas (median 1.9). The difference between corticotroph adenomas and plurihormonal tumors in comparison with other pathological types was statistically significant. The expression of D2R did not depend on the presence or absence of gonadotropins. We conclude that D2R expression is very low in corticotroph adenomas and significantly lower in plurihormonal tumors. The positivity of gonadotropins does not predict the D2R quantity.

Laugsand EA, Fladvad T, Skorpen F, et al.
Clinical and genetic factors associated with nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving opioids.
Eur J Cancer. 2011; 47(11):1682-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study investigates whether demographical, disease-related and genetic factors contribute to inter-individual differences in nausea and vomiting among patients receiving opioids for cancer pain.
METHODS: Cancer patients receiving opioids were included from 17 centres in 11 European countries. Intensities of nausea and vomiting were reported by 1579 patients on four-point categorical scales. In stratified regression models including demographical and disease-related factors as covariates, 96 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 16 candidate genes related to opioid- or nausea/vomiting signalling pathways (ABCB1, OPRM1, OPRK1, ARRB2, STAT6, COMT, CHRM3, CHRM5, HRH1, DRD2, DRD3, TACR1, HTR3A, HTR3B, HTR3C, CNR1) were analysed for association with nausea and vomiting.
FINDINGS: Age, body mass index, Karnofsky Performance Status, gender, use of antiemetics, type of opioid, type of cancer and eight SNPs were associated with the inter-individual differences in nausea and vomiting among cancer patients treated with opioids (p<0.01). The SNPs were rs1176744, rs3782025 and rs1672717 in HTR3B; rs165722, rs4680 and rs4633 in COMT; rs10802789 and rs685550 in CHRM3. Only the SNP rs1672717 in HTR3B passed the Benjamini-Hochberg criterion for a 10% false discovery rate.
INTERPRETATION: Clinical characteristics and SNPs within the HTR3B, COMT and CHRM3 genes may be associated with the variability in nausea and vomiting among cancer patients receiving opioids. This knowledge may help to identify patients at particular risk for nausea and vomiting during treatment with opioids for cancer pain.

Klepstad P, Fladvad T, Skorpen F, et al.
Influence from genetic variability on opioid use for cancer pain: a European genetic association study of 2294 cancer pain patients.
Pain. 2011; 152(5):1139-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer pain patients need variable opioid doses. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that opioid efficacy is related to genetic variability. However, the studies have small samples, findings are not replicated, and several candidate genes have not been studied. Therefore, a study of genetic variability with opioid doses in a large population using a confirmatory validation population was warranted. We recruited 2294 adult European patients using a World Health Organization (WHO) step III opioid and analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes with a putative influence on opioid mechanisms. The patients' mean age was 62.5 years, and the average pain intensity was 3.5. The patients' primary opioids were morphine (n=830), oxycodone (n=446), fentanyl (n=699), or other opioids (n=234). Pain intensity, time on opioids, age, gender, performance status, and bone or CNS metastases predicted opioid dose and were included as covariates. The patients were randomly divided into 1 development sample and 1 validation sample. None of 112 SNPs in the 25 candidate genes OPRM1, OPRD1, OPRK1, ARRB2, GNAZ, HINT1, Stat6, ABCB1, COMT, HRH1, ADRA2A, MC1R, TACR1, GCH1, DRD2, DRD3, HTR3A, HTR3B, HTR2A, HTR3C, HTR3D, HTR3E, HTR1, or CNR1 showed significant associations with opioid dose in both the development and the validation analyzes. These findings do not support the use of pharmacogenetic analyses for the assessed SNPs to guide opioid treatment. The study also demonstrates the importance of validating findings obtained in genetic association studies to avoid reporting spurious associations as valid findings. To elicit knowledge about new genes that influence pain and the need for opioids, strategies other than the candidate gene approach is needed.

Tani Y, Sugiyama T, Izumiyama H, et al.
Differential gene expression profiles of POMC-related enzymes, transcription factors and receptors between non-pituitary and pituitary ACTH-secreting tumors.
Endocr J. 2011; 58(4):297-303 [PubMed] Related Publications
The differential gene expression of proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-related processing enzymes, transcription factors, and receptors responsible for ACTH secretion between non-pituitary and pituitary ACTH-secreting tumors remains obscure. This study was attempted to determine the gene expression profiles of transcription factors (Tpit, NeuroD1 and IKZF1), proprotein convertase (PC) 1/3 and PC2, and several key receptors linked to ACTH secretion, including corticotrophin releasing hormone receptor (CRHR1), vasopressin receptor 1b (V1bR), somatostatin receptor (SSTR) subtype-2, -5 and dopamine receptor type 2 (D2R) in non-pituitary and pituitary ACTH-secreting tumors. Surgical tissue specimens from carcinoid tumors causing ectopic ACTH syndrome (EAS: n=4) and pituitary tumors causing Cushing's disease (CD: n=13), were subjected to real-time RT-PCR for measurements of each mRNA levels. POMC and CRHR1 mRNA levels in CD were far greater than those in EAS, whereas IKZF1, PC2, SSTR-2 and -5 mRNA levels in EAS were significantly greater than those in CD. NeuroD1, Tpit, PC1/3, V1bR and D2R mRNA levels were comparable between EAS and CD. In conclusion, differential gene expression profiles revealed more abundant mRNA expression in EAS than in CD of 1) IKZF1 with its potential implication of cell differentiation and hormone secretion, 2) PC2 with its possible enhanced processing activity of mature ACTH, and 3) SSTR-2 and -5 with their potential therapeutic application of more selective agonists in EAS patients.

Gatto F, Barbieri F, Castelletti L, et al.
In vivo and in vitro response to octreotide LAR in a TSH-secreting adenoma: characterization of somatostatin receptor expression and role of subtype 5.
Pituitary. 2011; 14(2):141-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thyrotropin-secreting pituitary adenomas (TSHomas) are a rare cause of hyperthyroidism and account for less than 2% of pituitary adenomas. Medical therapy with somatostatin analogues (SSAs) effectively reduces TSH secretion in approximately 80% of patients and induces shrinkage in about 45% of tumors. According with previous data, resistance to SSA treatment might be due to heterogeneity in somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) expression. We report the case of TSHoma in a 41-year-old man treated with octreotide LAR that caused a dramatic decrease of TSH and thyroid hormones and tumor shrinkage already after 3 months of pre-surgical therapy. In search of potential molecular determinants of octreotide effectiveness, we measured, in primary cultures from this tumor, SSTR and dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) expression, and octreotide and/or cabergoline effects on TSH secretion and cell proliferation. SSTR5 and D2R expression was higher than SSTR2. Octreotide significantly inhibited TSH secretion more effectively than cabergoline (P<0.001), whereas the combined treatment was comparable with cabergoline alone. Similarly, octreotide resulted more effective than cabergoline on cell proliferation, while the combination did not show any additive or synergistic effects. In conclusion, the significant antisecretive and antiproliferative effect of octreotide in this patient might be related to the high expression of SSTR5, in the presence of SSTR2. After reviewing the literature, indeed, in line with previous observations, we hypothesize that SSTR5/SSTR2 ratio in TSHomas may represent a useful marker in predicting the outcome of therapy with SSAs. The role of D2R should be further explored considering that the presence of D2R can influence SSTRs functionality.

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