Gene Summary

Gene:PRLR; prolactin receptor
Aliases: HPRL, MFAB, hPRLrI
Summary:This gene encodes a receptor for the anterior pituitary hormone, prolactin, and belongs to the type I cytokine receptor family. Prolactin-dependent signaling occurs as the result of ligand-induced dimerization of the prolactin receptor. Several alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different membrane-bound and soluble isoforms have been described for this gene, which may function to modulate the endocrine and autocrine effects of prolactin in normal tissue and cancer. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:prolactin receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 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 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Phosphorylation
  • Prolactin
  • Signal Transduction
  • beta-Transducin Repeat-Containing Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Protein Binding
  • Genotype
  • Up-Regulation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Messenger RNA
  • Risk Factors
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Therapies, Investigational
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Taiwan
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Young Adult
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • JAK2
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Chromosome 5
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Receptors, Prolactin
  • Breast Cancer
  • Ubiquitin
  • Transfection
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Estradiol
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Carcinoma
  • Tyrphostins
  • Prostate Cancer
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: PRLR (cancer-related)

Melo FM, Couto PP, Bale AE, et al.
Whole-exome identifies RXRG and TH germline variants in familial isolated prolactinoma.
Cancer Genet. 2016; 209(6):251-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) is a rare genetic disorder. In a subset of FIPA families AIP germline mutations have been reported, but in most FIPA cases the exact genetic defect remains unknown. The present study aimed to determine the genetic basis of FIPA in a Brazilian family. Three siblings presented with isolated prolactin genes. Further mutation screening was performed using whole-exome sequencing and all likely causative mutations were validated by Sanger sequencing. In silico analysis and secreting pituitary adenoma diagnosed through clinical, biochemical and imaging testing. Sanger sequencing was used to genotype candidate prolactinoma-mutated additional predictive algorithms were applied to prioritize likely pathogenic variants. No mutations in the coding and flanking intronic regions in the MEN1, AIP and PRLR genes were detected. Whole-exome sequencing of three affected siblings revealed novel, predicted damaging, heterozygous variants in three different genes: RXRG, REXO4 and TH. In conclusion, the RXRG and TH possibly pathogenic variants may be associated with isolated prolactinoma in the studied family. The possible contribution of these genes to additional FIPA families should be explored.

Hachim IY, Hachim MY, Lopez VM, et al.
Prolactin Receptor Expression is an Independent Favorable Prognostic Marker in Human Breast Cancer.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2016; 24(4):238-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolactin (PRL) hormone plays an important role in the development of the mammary gland and terminal differentiation of the mammary epithelial cells. While initial studies suggested that PRL may contribute to the development of breast cancer through PRL/prolactin receptor (PRLR) autocrine function, mounting evidence indicate a different role for PRL, highlighting this hormone as a regulator of epithelial plasticity and as a potential tumor suppressor. To gain further insights into the role of PRL in human breast carcinogenesis, immunohistochemistry analyses of PRLR protein expression levels using tissue microarray of 102 cases were done in comparison with various clinical/pathologic parameters and molecular subtypes. In addition, gene expression level of PRLR was also evaluated in relation to intrinsic molecular subtypes, tumor grade, and patient outcome using GOBO database for 1881 breast cancer patients. Interestingly, PRLR expression was found to be significantly downregulated in invasive breast cancer (21.4%) in comparison with normal/benign (80%) and in situ carcinoma (60%) (P=0.003498). Moreover, PRLR expression was associated with lymph node negativity and low-grade well-differentiated tumors. PRLR expression was strongest in luminal A subtype, and was virtually undetectable in the worse prognosis triple-negative breast cancer subtype (P=0.00001). Furthermore, PRLR expression was independent of ER, PR, HER-2, and P53 status. Finally, PRLR expression was significantly (P<0.01) associated with prolonged distant metastasis-free survival in breast cancer patients. In conclusion, our results highlight PRLR as an independent predictor of favorable prognosis in human breast cancer.

Zhang H, Ye J, Weng X, et al.
Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals that the extracellular matrix receptor interaction contributes to the venous metastases of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(10):482-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer in the world. Portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT) is one of the most serious complications of HCC and is strongly correlated with a poor prognosis for HCC patients. However, the detailed mechanism of PVTT development remains to be explored. In this study, we present a large-scale transcriptome analysis, by RNA sequencing, of 11 patients diagnosed with HCC with PVTT. The dysregulated genes between HCC and PVTT suggested that the extracellular matrix receptor interaction was correlated with the venous metastases of HCC. Among all of the recurrent alternative splicing events, we identified exon 6 skipping of RPS24, which is likely to be a cancer driver. We also identified five common fusion genes between HCC and its corresponding PVTT samples, including ARID1A-GPATCH3, MDM1-NUP107, PTGES3-RARG, PRLR-TERT, and C9orf3-TMC1. All of these findings broaden our knowledge of PVTT development and may also contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of HCC patients with PVTT.

Thomas LN, Merrimen J, Bell DG, et al.
Prolactin- and testosterone-induced carboxypeptidase-D correlates with increased nitrotyrosines and Ki67 in prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(15):1726-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Carboxypeptidase-D (CPD) cleaves C-terminal arginine for conversion to nitric oxide (NO) by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Prolactin (PRL) and androgens stimulate CPD gene transcription and expression, which increases intracellular production of NO to promote viability of prostate cancer (PCa) cells in vitro. The current study evaluated whether hormonal upregulation of CPD and NO promote PCa cell viabilty in vivo, by correlating changes in expression of CPD and nitrotyrosine residues (products of NO action) with proliferation marker Ki67 and associated proteins during PCa development and progression.
METHODS: Fresh prostate tissues, obtained from 40 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or PCa, were flash-frozen at the time of surgery and used for RT-qPCR analysis of CPD, androgen receptor (AR), PRL receptor (PRLR), eNOS, and Ki67 levels. Archival paraffin-embedded tissues from 113 men with BPH or PCa were used for immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of CPD, nitrotyrosines, phospho-Stat5 (for activated PRLR), AR, eNOS/iNOS, and Ki67.
RESULTS: RT-qPCR and IHC analyses showed strong AR and PRLR expression in benign and malignant prostates. CPD mRNA levels increased ∼threefold in PCa compared to BPH, which corresponded to a twofold increase in Ki67 mRNA levels. IHC analysis showed a progressive increase in CPD from 11.4 ± 2.1% in benign to 21.8 ± 3.2% in low-grade (P = 0.007), 40.7 ± 4.0% in high-grade (P < 0.0001) and 50.0 ± 9.5% in castration-recurrent PCa (P < 0.0001). Immunostaining for nitrotyrosines and Ki67 mirrored these increases during PCa progression. CPD, nitrotyrosines, and Ki67 tended to co-localize, as did phospho-Stat5.
CONCLUSIONS: CPD, nitrotyrosine, and Ki67 levels were higher in PCa than in benign and tended to co-localize, along with phospho-Stat5. The strong correlation in expression of these proteins in benign and malignant prostate tissues, combined with abundant AR and PRLR, supports in vitro evidence that the CPD-Arg-NO pathway is involved in the regulation of PCa cell proliferation. It further highlights a role for PRL in the development and progression of PCa.

Williams TA, Dietz AS, Theodoropoulou M, et al.
Coexisting Prolactinoma and Primary Aldosteronism: Is There a Pathophysiological Link?
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(9):E1262-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Coexisting prolactinoma-primary aldosteronism (PA) is infrequently reported.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to identify patients with prolactinoma-PA and test the hypothesis that elevated prolactin (PRL) concentrations play a role in PA pathogenesis.
SETTING AND DESIGN: Hyperprolactinemia/prolactinoma was diagnosed in PA patients from two referral centers (Munich, Germany, and Turin, Italy) and in essential hypertensive (EH) patients from one center (Turin). PRL receptor (PRLR) gene expression was determined by microarrays on aldosterone-producing adenomas and normal adrenals and validated by real-time PCR. H295R adrenal cells were incubated with 100 nM PRL, and gene expression levels were determined by real-time PCR and aldosterone production was quantified.
RESULTS: Seven patients with prolactinoma-PA were identified: four of 584 and three of 442 patients from the Munich and Turin PA cohorts, respectively. A disproportionate number presented with macroprolactinomas (five of seven). There were five cases of hyperprolactinemia with no cases of macroprolactinoma of 14 790 patients in a general EH cohort. In a population of PA patients case-control matched 1:3 with EH patients there were two cases of hyperprolactinemia of 270 PA patients and no cases in the EH cohort (n = 810). PRLR gene expression was significantly up-regulated in the aldosterone-producing adenomas compared with normal adrenals (1.7-fold and 1.5-fold by microarray and real-time PCR, respectively). In H295R cells, PRL treatment resulted in 1.3-fold increases in CYP11B2 expression and aldosterone production.
CONCLUSION: Elevated PRL caused by systemic hyperprolactinemia may contribute to the development of PA in those cases in which the two entities coexist.

Barcus CE, Holt EC, Keely PJ, et al.
Dense collagen-I matrices enhance pro-tumorigenic estrogen-prolactin crosstalk in MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0116891 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancers that express estrogen receptor alpha (ERα+) constitute the majority of breast tumors. Estrogen is a major driver of their growth, and targeting ER-mediated signals is a largely successful primary therapeutic strategy. Nonetheless, ERα+ tumors also result in the most breast cancer mortalities. Other factors, including altered characteristics of the extracellular matrix such as density and orientation and consequences for estrogen crosstalk with other hormones such as prolactin (PRL), may contribute to these poor outcomes. Here we employed defined three dimensional low density/compliant and high density/stiff collagen-I matrices to investigate the effects on 17β-estradiol (E2) activity and PRL/E2 interactions in two well-characterized ERα+/PRLR+ luminal breast cancer cell lines in vitro. We demonstrate that matrix density modulated E2-induced transcripts, but did not alter the growth response. However, matrix density was a potent determinant of the behavioral outcomes of PRL/E2 crosstalk. High density/stiff matrices enhanced PRL/E2-induced growth mediated by increased activation of Src family kinases and insensitivity to the estrogen antagonist, 4-hydroxytamoxifen. It also permitted these hormones in combination to drive invasion and modify the alignment of collagen fibers. In contrast, low density/compliant matrices allowed modest if any cooperation between E2 and PRL to growth and did not permit hormone-induced invasion or collagen reorientation. Our studies demonstrate the power of matrix density to determine the outcomes of hormone actions and suggest that stiff matrices are potent collaborators of estrogen and PRL in progression of ERα+ breast cancer. Our evidence for bidirectional interactions between these hormones and the extracellular matrix provides novel insights into the regulation of the microenvironment of ERα+ breast cancer and suggests new therapeutic approaches.

Huang KT, Tan D, Chen KH, Walker AM
Blockade of estrogen-stimulated proliferation by a constitutively-active prolactin receptor having lower expression in invasive ductal carcinoma.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 358(2):152-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
A comprehensive understanding of prolactin's (PRL's) role in breast cancer is complicated by disparate roles for alternatively-spliced PRL receptors (PRLR) and crosstalk between PRL and estrogen signaling. Among PRLRs, the short form 1b (SF1b) inhibits PRL-stimulated cell proliferation. In addition to ligand-dependent PRLRs, constitutively-active varieties, missing the S2 region of the extracellular domain (ΔS2), naturally occur. Expression analysis of the ΔS2 version of SF1b (ΔS2SF1b) showed higher expression in histologically-normal contiguous tissue versus invasive ductal carcinoma. To determine the function of ΔS2SF1b, a T47D breast cancer line with inducible expression was produced. Induction of ΔS2SF1b blocked estrogen-stimulated cell proliferation. Unlike intact SF1b, induction of ΔS2SF1b had no effect on PRL-mediated activation of Stat5a. However induction inhibited estrogen's stimulatory effects on serine-118 phosphorylation of estrogen receptor α, serine-473 phosphorylation of Akt, serine-9 phosphorylation of GSK3β, and c-myc expression. In addition, induction of ΔS2SF1b increased expression of the cell cycle-inhibiting protein, p21. Thus, increased expression of ΔS2SF1b, such as we demonstrate occurs with the selective PRLR modulator, S179D PRL, would create a physiological state in which estrogen-stimulated proliferation was inhibited, but differentiative responses to PRL were maintained.

Kavarthapu R, Tsai Morris CH, Dufau ML
Prolactin induces up-regulation of its cognate receptor in breast cancer cells via transcriptional activation of its generic promoter by cross-talk between ERα and STAT5.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(19):9079-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prolactin (PRL) serves a critical role in breast cancer progression via activation of its cognate receptor. These studies reveal up-regulation of PRLR gene expression by PRL in absence of estradiol in MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells. PRL/PRLR via activation of STAT5 that binds a GAS-element in the PRLR gene and the participation of ERα stimulates PRLR transcription/expression. PRL/PRLR induces phosphorylation of ERα through the JAK2/PI3K/MAPK/ERK and JAK2/HER2 activated pathways. The increased recruitment of phospho-ERα, induced by PRL to Sp1 and C/EBPβ at PRLR promoter sites is essential for PRL-induced PRLR transcription. This recruitment is prevented by blockade of PRL expression using RNA interference or ERα phosphorylation using specific inhibitors of PI3K and ERK. Direct evidence is provided for local actions of PRL, independent of estradiol, in the up-regulation of PRLR transcription/expression by an activation-loop between STAT5 and the phospho-ERα/Sp1/C/EBPβ complex with requisite participation of signaling mechanisms. PRL's central role in the up-regulation of PRLR maximizes the action of the endogenous hormone. This study offers mechanistically rational basis for invasiveness fueled by prolactin in refractory states to adjuvant therapies in breast cancer.

Ascencio-Cedillo R, López-Pulido EI, Muñoz-Valle JF, et al.
Prolactin and prolactin receptor expression in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and cancer.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2015; 21(2):241-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolactin receptor (PRLR) overexpression could play a role in tumorigenesis. The aim of this study was to determine prolactin (PRL) and PRLR expression in biopsies from patients with precursor lesions and uterine cervical cancer. PRLR expression was analyzed in 63 paraffin-embedded biopsies of uterine cervical tissue. In total, eleven low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), 23 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), 21 uterine cervical cancers (UCC) and 8 normal epithelium (NE) were examined using immunoperoxidase staining and Western blot analysis. Additionally, PRL expression was identified in human cervical cancer serum and tissues. The PRLR expression was found to be significantly increased in cervical cancer in comparison with normal tissue and precursor lesions (P < 0.0003). The presence of the long isoform of the PRLR was observed only in cervical cancer tissues. Serum PRL levels were normal in all samples and local prolactin expression was similar in precursor lesions and cervical cancer by Western blot analysis. Our data suggest a possible role for PRLR in the progression of cervical cancer.

Elias D, Vever H, Lænkholm AV, et al.
Gene expression profiling identifies FYN as an important molecule in tamoxifen resistance and a predictor of early recurrence in patients treated with endocrine therapy.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(15):1919-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer, we performed gene array analyses and identified 366 genes with altered expression in four unique tamoxifen-resistant (TamR) cell lines vs the parental tamoxifen-sensitive MCF-7/S0.5 cell line. Most of these genes were functionally linked to cell proliferation, death and control of gene expression, and include FYN, PRKCA, ITPR1, DPYD, DACH1, LYN, GBP1 and PRLR. Treatment with FYN-specific small interfering RNA or a SRC family kinase inhibitor reduced cell growth of TamR cell lines while exerting no significant effect on MCF-7/S0.5 cells. Moreover, overexpression of FYN in parental tamoxifen-sensitive MCF-7/S0.5 cells resulted in reduced sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment, whereas knockdown of FYN in the FYN-overexpressing MCF-7/S0.5 cells restored sensitivity to tamoxifen, demonstrating growth- and survival-promoting function of FYN in MCF-7 cells. FYN knockdown in TamR cells led to reduced phosphorylation of 14-3-3 and Cdc25A, suggesting that FYN, by activation of important cell cycle-associated proteins, may overcome the anti-proliferative effects of tamoxifen. Evaluation of the subcellular localization of FYN in primary breast tumors from two cohorts of endocrine-treated ER+ breast cancer patients, one with advanced disease (N=47) and the other with early disease (N=76), showed that in the former, plasma membrane-associated FYN expression strongly correlated with longer progression-free survival (P<0.0002). Similarly, in early breast cancer patients, membrane-associated expression of FYN in the primary breast tumor was significantly associated with increased metastasis-free (P<0.04) and overall (P<0.004) survival independent of tumor size, grade or lymph node status. Our results indicate that FYN has an important role in tamoxifen resistance, and its subcellular localization in breast tumor cells may be an important novel biomarker of response to endocrine therapy in breast cancer.

Kang JH, Hassan SA, Zhao P, et al.
Impact of subdomain D1 of the short form S1b of the human prolactin receptor on its inhibitory action on the function of the long form of the receptor induced by prolactin.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1840(7):2272-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Long-form (LF) homodimers of the human prolactin receptor (PRLR) mediate prolactin's diverse actions. Short form S1b inhibits the LF function through heterodimerization. Reduced S1b/LF-ratio in breast cancer could contribute to tumor development/progression. Current work defines the structural and functional relevance of the D1 domain of S1b on its inhibitory function on prolactin-induced LF function.
METHODS: Studies were conducted using mutagenesis, promoter/signaling analyses, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) and molecular modeling approaches.
RESULTS: Mutation of E69 in D1 S1b or adjacent residues at the receptor surface near to the binding pocket (S) causes loss of its inhibitory effect while mutations away from this region (A) or in the D2 domain display inhibitory action as the wild-type. All S1b mutants preserved prolactin-induced Jak2 activation. BRET reveals an increased affinity in D1 mutated S1b (S) homodimers in transfected cells stably expressing LF. In contrast, affinity in S1b homodimers with either D1 (A) or D2 mutations remained unchanged. This favors LF mediated signaling induced by prolactin. Molecular dynamics simulations show that mutations (S) elicit major conformational changes that propagate downward to the D1/D2 interface and change their relative orientation in the dimers.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate the essential role of D1 on the S1b structure and its inhibitory action on prolactin-induced LF-mediated function.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Major changes in receptor conformation and dimerization affinity are triggered by single mutations in critical regions of D1. Our structure-function/simulation studies provide a basis for modeling and design of small molecules to enhance inhibition of LF activation for potential use in breast cancer treatment.

Tan D, Tang P, Huang J, et al.
Expression of a constitutively active prolactin receptor causes histone trimethylation of the p53 gene in breast cancer.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2014; 127(6):1077-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prolactin (PRL) is a pituitary polypeptide hormone characterized by multiple biological actions including stimulation of growth in the prostate and formation of secretory alveoli and stimulation of milk protein gene expression in the mammary gland. PRL exerts its effect by dimerizing its receptor (PRLR) on the plasma membrane and regulating gene expression through the JAK-Stat signal pathway. We have previously described a natural variant of the PRLR in which the S2 subdomain of the extracellular domain is missing (Delta S2). Delta S2 PRLRs are dimerized in the absence of PRL and have constitutive activity in the promotion of breast cancer cell growth. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), as one of the histone-modifying enzymes, is a key factor regulating gene expression by epigenetic modification. We hypothesized that these constitutive activated Delta S2 PRLRs played a pathogenic role in breast cancer in part through alterations in the expression of EZH2 and the trimethylation of histone 3 on lysine 27 (H3K27Me3).
METHODS: In order to verify the clinical significance and to establish the link between Delta S2 PRLR expression and epigenetic change, EZH2, H3K27Me3, and Delta S2 PRLR were detected in both normal and cancerous human breast tissues. Also, overexpression of Delta S2 PRLR in breast epithelial cells was achieved by infection with adenovirus carrying the cDNA. Western blotting and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP assay) and acid histone extraction were applied to detect the expression of EZH2 and the trimethylation of histone 3, respectively.
RESULTS: In breast tissue, higher EZH2 expression and higher H3K27Me3 were found associated with higher Delta S2 expression in breast cancer samples. In breast epithelial cells, overexpression of Delta S2 PRLR increased EZH2 methyltransferase mRNA and protein, induced EZH2 methyltransferase recruitment to chromatin, increased the trimethylation of H3K27Me3, and decreased the expression of p53 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Delta S2 PRLR plays an important pathogenic role in breast cancer through epigenetic modification. Elevated expression of Delta S2 PRLR, achieved by alternate splicing of the pre-mRNA of the full-length form, is a new mechanism contributing to human breast cancer.

Neradugomma NK, Subramaniam D, Tawfik OW, et al.
Prolactin signaling enhances colon cancer stemness by modulating Notch signaling in a Jak2-STAT3/ERK manner.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(4):795-806 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prolactin (PRL) is a secretory cytokine produced by various tissues. Binding to the cognate PRL receptor (PRLR), it activates intracellular signaling via janus kinase (JAK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins. PRL regulates diverse activities under normal and abnormal conditions, including malignancies. Previous clinical data suggest serum PRL levels are elevated in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. In this study, we first determined the expression of PRL and PRLR in colon cancer tissue and cell lines. Higher levels of PRLR expression were observed in the cancer cells and cell lines compared with normal colonic epithelial cells. Incubation of colon cancer cells with PRL-induced JAK2, STAT3 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and increased expression of Jagged 1, which is a Notch-1 receptor ligand. Notch signaling regulates CRC stem cell population. We observed increased accumulation of the cleaved/active form of Notch-1 receptor (Notch intracellular domain) and increased expression of Notch responsive genes HEY1, HES1 and stem cell marker genes DCLK1, LGR5, ALDH1 and CD44. Finally, inhibiting PRL induced JAK2-STAT3 and JAK2-ERK1/2 using AG490 and PD98059, respectively, leads to complete abrogation of Notch signaling, suggesting a role for this pathway in regulating CRC stem cells. Together, our results demonstrate that cytokine signaling induced by PRL is active in colorectal cancers and may provide a novel target for therapeutic intervention.

Nitze LM, Galsgaard ED, Din N, et al.
Reevaluation of the proposed autocrine proliferative function of prolactin in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 142(1):31-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) has been implicated in tumourigenesis. Expression of PRL and its receptor (PRLR) was reported in human breast epithelium and breast cancer cells. It was suggested that PRL may act as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor. Here, we addressed the role of locally synthesised PRL in breast cancer. We analysed the expression of PRL in human breast cancer tumours using qPCR analysis and in situ hybridization (ISH). PRL mRNA expression was very low or undetectable in the majority of samples in three cDNA arrays representing samples from 144 breast cancer patients and in 13 of 14 breast cancer cell lines when analysed by qPCR. In accordance, PRL expression did not reach detectable levels in any of the 19 human breast carcinomas or 5 cell lines, which were analysed using a validated ISH protocol. Two T47D-derived breast cancer cell lines were stably transfected with PRL-expressing constructs. Conditioned medium from the T47D/PRL clones promoted proliferation of lactogen-dependent Nb2 cells and control T47D cells. Surprisingly, the PRL-producing clones themselves displayed a lower proliferation rate as compared to the control cells. Their PRLR protein level was reduced and the cells were no longer responsive to exogenous recombinant PRL. Taken together, these data strongly indicate that autocrine PRL signalling is unlikely to be a general mechanism promoting tumour growth in breast cancer patients.

Sustarsic EG, Junnila RK, Kopchick JJ
Human metastatic melanoma cell lines express high levels of growth hormone receptor and respond to GH treatment.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 441(1):144-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accumulating evidence implicates the growth hormone receptor (GHR) in carcinogenesis. While multiple studies show evidence for expression of growth hormone (GH) and GHR mRNA in human cancer tissue, there is a lack of quantification and only a few cancer types have been investigated. The National Cancer Institute's NCI60 panel includes 60 cancer cell lines from nine types of human cancer: breast, CNS, colon, leukemia, melanoma, non-small cell lung, ovarian, prostate and renal. We utilized this panel to quantify expression of GHR, GH, prolactin receptor (PRLR) and prolactin (PRL) mRNA with real-time RT qPCR. Both GHR and PRLR show a broad range of expression within and among most cancer types. Strikingly, GHR expression is nearly 50-fold higher in melanoma than in the panel as a whole. Analysis of human metastatic melanoma biopsies confirmed GHR gene expression in melanoma tissue. In these human biopsies, the level of GHR mRNA is elevated in advanced stage IV tumor samples compared to stage III. Due to the novel finding of high GHR in melanoma, we examined the effect of GH treatment on three NCI60 melanoma lines (MDA-MB-435, UACC-62 and SK-MEL-5). GH increased proliferation in two out of three cell lines tested. Further analysis revealed GH-induced activation of STAT5 and mTOR in a cell line dependent manner. In conclusion, we have identified cell lines and cancer types that are ideal to study the role of GH and PRL in cancer, yet have been largely overlooked. Furthermore, we found that human metastatic melanoma tumors express GHR and cell lines possess active GHRs that can modulate multiple signaling pathways and alter cell proliferation. Based on this data, GH could be a new therapeutic target in melanoma.

Tan D, Tan S, Zhang J, et al.
Histone trimethylation of the p53 gene by expression of a constitutively active prolactin receptor in prostate cancer cells.
Chin J Physiol. 2013; 56(5):282-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolactin (PRL) is a pituitary polypeptide hormone characterized by multiple biological actions including stimulation of growth in the prostate, breast and ovarian epithelial cells. A sizable body of reports has presented evidences to indicate the involvement of PRL in the pathogenic process of cancers of the reproductive system, such as prostate and breast cancers. PRL exerts its effects by dimerizing its receptor (PRLR) on the plasma membrane, and initiating cellular Jak-Stat signal pathway. We have previously cloned from prostate cancer cells a natural variant of PRLR in which the S2 subdomain of the extracellular domain is missing (ΔS2). Our preliminary data showed that ΔS2 PRLR was able to dimerize and to constitutively activate the β-casein promoter (in the absence of its ligand, PRL) in breast and prostate epithelial cells. Enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2), an important histone-modifying enzyme, is able to trimethylate histone 3 on lysine 27 (H3K27Me3), consequently leading to gene silencing, especially silencing of tumor suppressor genes such as p53. We hypothesized that ΔS2 PRLR played an important pathogenic role in prostate cancer through, at least partly, alterations in the expression of EZH2 and the trimethylation of histone 3 on lysine 27. In the present study, overexpression of ΔS2 PRLR in prostate epithelial cells was achieved by infection with an adenoviral vector carrying the cDNA. The viable cell number overexpressing ΔS2 PRLR was assessed using MTS reagent. Western blot, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay and acid histone extraction were applied to detect expression of EZH2 as well as trimethylation of histone 3, respectively. In prostate epithelial cells, overexpression of ΔS2 PRLR increased the levels of EZH2 methyltransferase mRNA and protein, induced EZH2 methyltransferase recruitment to chromatin, increased the trimethylation of histone 3 on lysine 27, and decreased expression of the p53 gene. We concluded that ΔS2 PRLR plays an important pathogenic role in prostate cancer through epigenetic covalent modification leading to chromatin remodeling. Hypertrimethylation on H3K27 of the p53 gene promoter region due to elevated expression of ΔS2 PRLR by alternative splicing of the pre-mRNA in its full-length form might serve as a new mechanism underlying human prostate cancer.

Li WQ, Hu N, Wang Z, et al.
Genetic variants in epidermal growth factor receptor pathway genes and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric cancer in a Chinese population.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68999 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival, and is frequently dysregulated in esophageal and gastric cancers. Few studies have comprehensively examined the association between germline genetic variants in the EGFR pathway and risk of esophageal and gastric cancers. Based on a genome-wide association study in a Han Chinese population, we examined 3443 SNPs in 127 genes in the EGFR pathway for 1942 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs), 1758 gastric cancers (GCs), and 2111 controls. SNP-level analyses were conducted using logistic regression models. We applied the resampling-based adaptive rank truncated product approach to determine the gene- and pathway-level associations. The EGFR pathway was significantly associated with GC risk (P = 2.16×10(-3)). Gene-level analyses found 10 genes to be associated with GC, including FYN, MAPK8, MAP2K4, GNAI3, MAP2K1, TLN1, PRLR, PLCG2, RPS6KB2, and PIK3R3 (P<0.05). For ESCC, we did not observe a significant pathway-level association (P = 0.72), but gene-level analyses suggested associations between GNAI3, CHRNE, PAK4, WASL, and ITCH, and ESCC (P<0.05). Our data suggest an association between specific genes in the EGFR signaling pathway and risk of GC and ESCC. Further studies are warranted to validate these associations and to investigate underlying mechanisms.

Sutherland A, Forsyth A, Cong Y, et al.
The Role of Prolactin in Bone Metastasis and Breast Cancer Cell-Mediated Osteoclast Differentiation.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastasis to the bone is a deleterious aspect of breast cancer and is a preferred site that results in bone loss. Hormones such as prolactin (PRL) have not yet been studied for their role in modulating the secondary tumor bone microenvironment.
METHODS: We used quantitative immunohistochemistry with 134 samples of human primary breast cancer and 17 matched primary breast cancers and bone metastases. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was fitted to evaluate the associations between high prolactin receptor (PRLR) expression and time to bone metastasis, adjusting for estrogen receptor status, lymph node status, and chemotherapy status. We assessed osteoclast differentiation, osteoclast size, and measured pit formation in dentine slices. Statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: High PRLR expression in the primary breast tumor was associated with a shorter time to metastasis that includes bone (PRLRAQUA Max-per 100 unit hazard ratio = 1.04, 95% confidence interval = 1.00 to 1.07, P = .03). We observed the PRLR in rare samples of bone metastases and matched primary breast cancer. PRL treatment of breast cancer cells induced osteoclast differentiation and bone lysis via secreted factors and was abrogated by a PRLR antagonist (delta1-9-G129R-hPRL). We demonstrated that sonic hedgehog is a PRL-regulated cytokine in breast cancer cells and part of the mechanism that induces osteoclast differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our evidence indicates that PRL-PRLR can escalate the impact of breast cancer on bone metastasis and that the presence of the PRLR in the tumor microenvironment of breast cancer bone metastasis has the potential to modulate the microenvironment to induce lytic osteoclast formation.

Wei Q, He W, Yao J, et al.
Identification and characterization of microRNAs expressed in human breast cancer T-47D cells in response to prolactin treatment by Solexa deep-sequencing technology.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 432(3):480-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression and perform critical roles in various biological processes. To investigate the functional roles of miRNAs in the prolactin receptor (PRLR) signaling pathway in breast cancer, we constructed two small RNA libraries from human breast cancer T-47D cells treated with or without prolactin (PRL). The miRNA expression profiles were systematically screened using Solexa deep-sequencing technology. More than 40 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed, from which 4 miRNAs were chosen for validation by stem-loop real-time PCR. In addition, 3 novel miRNAs were selected for verification by PCR. Furthermore, upstream miRNA target genes were predicted using different algorithms, GO and KEGG analyses revealed that these targets were highly related to the PRLR signaling pathway. This study provides a reference for elucidating the complex miRNA-mediated regulatory networks of PRL/PRLR signaling pathway that affect breast cancer tumorigenesis and progression.

Zemmoura I, Wierinckx A, Vasiljevic A, et al.
Aggressive and malignant prolactin pituitary tumors: pathological diagnosis and patient management.
Pituitary. 2013; 16(4):515-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
According to the World Health Organization classification of pituitary tumors, only tumors with systemic metastasis must be considered as carcinomas. Invasive tumors with multiple recurrences are only classified as aggressive tumors or "atypical adenomas". To illustrate the problems encountered in the pathological diagnosis of pituitary carcinoma and in patient management, we present two male patients operated on for an aggressive prolactin pituitary adenoma with and without metastasis. In case 1, 5 surgeries, 3 irradiations, increased doses of dopamine agonists, and trials of temozolomide and carboplatine-VP16 failed to control tumor progression and the appearance of metastases which lead to death 16 years after onset. In case 2, based on the initial diagnosis of an aggressive-invasive adenoma that was resistant to dopamine agonists, gamma-Knife irradiation was initially performed on the intra-cavernous remnant. Eight years after onset, the remnant remained stabilized and the plasma PRL normalized under dopamine agonist. From these 2 cases alongside other cases found in the literature, we propose that the association of certain clinical signs (male sex, dopamine-resistant hyperprolactinemia), radiological signs (invasive macro or giant tumor on MRI) and histological signs (angiogenesis, Ki-67 > 3%, p53 positive, mitoses >2 per high power field, vascular invasion, up-regulation of genes related to invasion and proliferation, and allelic loss of chromosome 11) might suggest aggressiveness and be suspicious of malignancy before the appearance of metastasis. The early detection of an aggressive phenotype of a prolactin pituitary tumor should permit the earlier establishment of the optimum therapeutic strategy associating surgery and radiotherapy to delay or inhibit metastasis.

Fiorillo AA, Medler TR, Feeney YB, et al.
The prolactin receptor transactivation domain is associated with steroid hormone receptor expression and malignant progression of breast cancer.
Am J Pathol. 2013; 182(1):217-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
The polypeptide hormone prolactin (PRL) stimulates breast epithelial cell growth, differentiation, and motility through its cognate receptor, PRLr. PRLr is expressed in most breast cancers; however, its exact role remains elusive. Our laboratory previously described a novel mode of PRLr signaling in which Stat5a-mediated transcription is regulated through ligand-induced phosphorylation of the PRLr transactivation domain (TAD). Herein, we used a PRLr transactivation-deficient mutant (PRLrYDmut) to identify novel TAD-specific target genes. Microarray analysis identified 120 PRL-induced genes up-regulated by wild type but not PRLrYDmut. Compared with control, PRLr expression significantly induced expression of approximately 4700 PRL-induced genes, whereas PRLrYDmut ablated induction of all but 19 of these genes. Ingenuity pathway analysis found that the PRLr TAD most profoundly affected networks involving cancer and proliferation. In support of this, PRLrYDmut expression reduced anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth. In addition, pathway analysis identified a link between the PRLr TAD and the estrogen and progesterone receptors (ERα/PR). Although neither ERα nor PR was identified as a PRL target gene, a TAD mutation significantly impaired ERα/PR expression and estrogen responsiveness. TMA analysis revealed a marked increase in nuclear, but not cytoplasmic, PRLr TAD phosphorylation as a function of neoplastic progression. We propose that PRLr TAD phosphorylation contributes to breast cancer pathogenesis, in part through regulation of ERα and PR, and has potential utility as a biomarker in this disease.

Hou L, Xu B, Mohankumar KM, et al.
The prolactin receptor mediates HOXA1-stimulated oncogenicity in mammary carcinoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(6):2285-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The HOX genes are a highly conserved subgroup of homeodomain-containing transcription factors that are crucial to normal development. Forced expression of HOXA1 results in oncogenic transformation of immortalized human mammary cells with aggressive tumour formation in vivo. Microarray analysis identified that the prolactin receptor (PRLR) was significantly upregulated by forced expression of HOXA1 in mammary carcinoma cells. To determine prolactin (PRL) involvement in HOXA1‑induced oncogenicity in mammary carcinoma cells (MCF-7), we examined the effect of human prolactin (hPRL)-initiated PRLR signal transduction on changes in cellular behaviour mediated by HOXA1. Forced expression of HOXA1 in MCF-7 cells increased PRLR mRNA and protein expression. Forced expression of HOXA1 also enhanced hPRL-stimulated phosphorylation of both STAT5A/B and p44/42 MAPK, and increased subsequent transcriptional activity of STAT5A and STAT5B, and Elk-1 and Sap1a, respectively. Moreover, forced expression of HOXA1 in MCF-7 cells enhanced the hPRL‑stimulated increase in total cell number as a consequence of enhanced cell proliferation and cell survival, and also enhanced hPRL-stimulated anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. Increased anchorage-independent growth was attenuated by the PRLR antagonist ∆1-9-G129R‑hPRL. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that HOXA1 increases expression of the cell surface receptor PRLR and enhances PRLR-mediated signal transduction. Thus, the PRLR is one mediator of HOXA1‑stimulated oncogenicity in mammary carcinoma cells.

Haglund F, Lu M, Vukojević V, et al.
Prolactin receptor in primary hyperparathyroidism--expression, functionality and clinical correlations.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e36448 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is an endocrine disorder most commonly affecting women, suggesting a role for female hormones and/or their receptors in parathyroid adenomas. We here investigated the prolactin receptor (PRLr) which is associated with tumours of the breast and other organs.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PRLr expression was investigated in a panel of 37 patients with sporadic parathyroid tumours and its functionality in cultured parathyroid tumour cells. In comparison with other tissues and breast cancer cells, high levels of prolactin receptor gene (PRLR) transcripts were demonstrated in parathyroid tissues. PRLr products of 60/70 kDa were highly expressed in all parathyroid tumours. In addition varying levels of the 80 kDa PRLr isoform, with known proliferative activity, were demonstrated. In parathyroid tumours, PRLr immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm (in all cases, n = 36), cytoplasmic granulae (n = 16), the plasma membrane (n = 12) or enlarged lysosomes (n = 4). In normal parathyroid rim (n = 28), PRLr was uniformly expressed in the cytoplasm and granulae. In in vitro studies of short-term cultured human parathyroid tumour cells, prolactin stimulation was associated with significant transcriptional changes in JAK/STAT, RIG-I like receptor and type II interferon signalling pathways as documented by gene expression profiling. Moreover, PRLR gene expression in parathyroid tumours was inversely correlated with the patients' plasma calcium levels.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that the prolactin receptor is highly abundant in human parathyroid tissues and that PRLr isoforms expression and PRLr subcellular localisation are altered in parathyroid tumours. Responsiveness of PRLr to physiological levels of prolactin was observed in the form of increased PTH secretion and altered gene transcription with significant increase of RIG-I like receptor, JAK-STAT and Type II interferon signalling pathways. These data suggest a role of the prolactin receptor in parathyroid adenomas.

Goffin V, Hoang DT, Bogorad RL, Nevalainen MT
Prolactin regulation of the prostate gland: a female player in a male game.
Nat Rev Urol. 2011; 8(11):597-607 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolactin is best known for its actions on the mammary gland. However, circulating prolactin is also detected in males and its receptor (PRLR) is expressed in the prostate, suggesting that the prostate is a target of prolactin. Germline knockout of prolactin or its receptor has failed to reveal a key role for prolactin signaling in mouse prostate physiology. However, several studies involving rodent models and human prostate cell lines and specimens have supported the contribution of the canonical PRLR-Jak2-Stat5a/b pathway to prostate cancer tumorigenesis and progression. Increased expression of prolactin in the prostate itself (rather than changes in circulating prolactin levels) and crosstalk with androgen receptor (AR) signaling are potential mechanisms for increased Stat5a/b signaling in prostate cancer. In the mouse prostate, prolactin overexpression results in disorganized expansion of the basal/stem cell compartment, which has been proposed to house putative prostate tumor-initiating cells. These findings provide new insight into the molecular and cellular targets by which locally produced prolactin could contribute to prostate cancer initiation and progression. A number of pharmacological inhibitors targeting various levels of the PRLR-Jak2-Stat5a/b pathway have been developed and are entering clinical trials for advanced prostate cancer.

Fiorillo AA, Medler TR, Feeney YB, et al.
HMGN2 inducibly binds a novel transactivation domain in nuclear PRLr to coordinate Stat5a-mediated transcription.
Mol Endocrinol. 2011; 25(9):1550-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The direct actions of transmembrane receptors within the nucleus remain enigmatic. In this report, we demonstrate that the prolactin receptor (PRLr) localizes to the nucleus where it functions as a coactivator through its interactions with the latent transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5a (Stat5a) and the high-mobility group N2 protein (HMGN2). We identify a novel transactivation domain within the PRLr that is activated by ligand-induced phosphorylation, an event coupled to HMGN2 binding. The association of the PRLr with HMGN2 enables Stat5a-responsive promoter binding, thus facilitating transcriptional activation and promoting anchorage-independent growth. We propose that HMGN2 serves as a critical regulatory factor in Stat5a-driven gene expression by facilitating the assembly of PRLr/Stat5a onto chromatin and that these events may serve to promote biological events that contribute to a tumorigenic phenotype. Our data imply that phosphorylation may be the molecular switch that activates a cell surface receptor transactivation domain, enabling it to tether chromatin-modifying factors, such as HMGN2, to target promoter regions in a sequence-specific manner.

Tan D, Chen KE, Khoo T, Walker AM
Prolactin increases survival and migration of ovarian cancer cells: importance of prolactin receptor type and therapeutic potential of S179D and G129R receptor antagonists.
Cancer Lett. 2011; 310(1):101-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Variably-spliced prolactin receptors (PRLRs) and PRL are expressed by the ovarian cancer cell lines, TOV-112D, OV-90 and TOV-21G. Incubation in the PRLR antagonists, G129R- or S179D-PRL, or anti-PRL reduced cell number, indicating a functional autocrine PRL growth loop. Added PRL promoted, and the antagonists decreased, cell migration. When cells were stressed, added PRL decreased apoptosis and increased survival, and the antagonists had the opposite effect. Cells expressing higher long:short PRLR ratios had increased growth, survival and migration in response to PRL. Results suggest that PRLR antagonists may be therapeutically beneficial in ovarian cancer.

Bigsby RM, Caperell-Grant A
The role for estrogen receptor-alpha and prolactin receptor in sex-dependent DEN-induced liver tumorigenesis.
Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32(8):1162-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mice treated neonatally with diethylnitrosamine (DEN) develop liver tumors in a male-dominant manner, reflecting the male bias in human hepatocellular carcinoma. Evidence suggests that estrogen, androgen, prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) modify liver tumorigenesis. We determined the roles of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and prolactin receptor (PRLR) using receptor null mice, ERαKO (C57Bl/6J) and PRLR-KO (129Ola-X-C57BL/6), in the neonatal-DEN model of liver tumorigenesis. In both mouse strains, females had reduced tumorigenesis compared with males (P < 0.01), regardless of ERα or PRLR status. Tumorigenesis was not affected by ovariectomy in C57Bl/6J mice but it was increased by ovariectomy in the mixed strain, 129Ola-X-C57BL/6, regardless of PRLR status. ERαKO males had 47% fewer tumors than ERα wild-type males (P < 0.01). On the other hand, estradiol treatment protected against tumorigenesis in males only in the presence of ERα. As evidenced by liver gene expression, lack of ERα did not alter the pattern of GH secretion in males but resulted in the male GH pattern in females. These observations indicate that ERα is not required for lower tumorigenesis in females, but it is required for the protective effects of exogenously delivered estradiol. Unexpectedly, the results indicate that ERα plays a role in promotion of liver tumors in males. In addition, it can be concluded that sex differences in liver tumorigenesis cannot be explained by the sexually dimorphic pattern of GH secretion. The results also rule out PRL as the mediator of the protective effect of the ovaries.

Nyante SJ, Faupel-Badger JM, Sherman ME, et al.
Genetic variation in PRL and PRLR, and relationships with serum prolactin levels and breast cancer risk: results from a population-based case-control study in Poland.
Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(2):R42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Studies suggest that high circulating levels of prolactin increase breast cancer risk. It is unclear if genetic variations in prolactin (PRL) or prolactin receptor (PRLR) genes also play a role. Thus, we examined the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PRL and PRLR, serum prolactin levels and breast cancer risk in a population-based case-control study.
METHODS: We genotyped 8 PRL and 20 PRLR tag SNPs in 1965 breast cancer cases and 2229 matched controls, aged 20-74, and living in Warsaw or Łódź, Poland. Serum prolactin levels were measured by immunoassay in a subset of 773 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for genotype associations with breast cancer risk were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusted for age and study site. Geometric mean prolactin levels were estimated using linear regression models adjusted for age, study site, blood collection time, and menstrual cycle day (premenopausal women).
RESULTS: Three SNPs were associated with breast cancer risk: in premenopausal women, PRLR rs249537 (T vs. C per-allele OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.07 - 1.80, P = 0.01); and in postmenopausal women, PRLR rs7718468 (C vs. T per-allele OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.03 - 1.30, P = 0.01) and PRLR rs13436213 (A vs. G per-allele OR 1.13 95% CI 1.01 - 1.26, P = 0.04). However, mean serum prolactin levels for these SNPs did not vary by genotype (P-trend > 0.05). Other SNPs were associated with serum prolactin levels: PRLR rs62355518 (P-trend = 0.01), PRLR rs10941235 (P-trend = 0.01), PRLR rs1610218 (P-trend = 0.01), PRLR rs34024951 (P-trend = 0.02), and PRLR rs9292575 (P-trend = 0.03) in premenopausal controls and PRL rs849872 (P-trend = 0.01) in postmenopausal controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide limited support for an association between common variations in PRLR and breast cancer risk. Altered serum prolactin levels were not associated with breast cancer risk-associated variants, suggesting that common genetic variation is not a strong predictor of prolactin-associated breast cancer risk in this population.

Fabbri HC, Mello MP, Soardi FC, et al.
Long-term follow-up of an 8-year-old boy with insulinoma as the first manifestation of a familial form of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1.
Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2010; 54(8):754-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant hereditary cancer syndrome characterized mostly by parathyroid, enteropancreatic, and anterior pituitary tumors. We present a case of an 8-year-old boy referred because of hypoglycemic attacks. His diagnosis was pancreatic insulinoma. Paternal grandmother died due to repeated gastroduodenal ulcerations and a paternal aunt presented similar manifestations. At a first evaluation, the father presented only gastric ulceration but subsequently developed hyperparathyroidism and lung carcinoid tumor. During almost 15 years of follow-up, three brothers and the index case presented hyperparathyroidism and hyperprolactinemia. Molecular study showed a G to A substitution in intron 4, at nine nucleotides upstream of the splicing acceptor site, causing a splicing mutation. All affected members of the family have the same mutation. Paternal grandmother and aunt were not studied and the mother does not carry any mutation. MEN1 is a rare condition that requires permanent medical assistance. Early clinical and genetic identification of affected individuals is essential for their own surveillance and also for genetic counseling.

Kikuchi R, Mino N, Okamoto T, et al.
Simultaneous double thymic carcinoids: a rare initial manifestation of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1.
Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011; 59(1):68-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 53-year-old man was referred to our hospital for treatment of two anterior mediastinal tumors. The anterior mediastinal tumors were resected by thymectomy under the probable diagnosis of double thymomas. The final pathological diagnosis was multiple thymic carcinoids. Although 20%-25% of patients with thymic carcinoid have a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1), radiographic screening just after the operation did not detect any endocrine tumors. However, the patient had a urinary calculus 4 months 7 months after the operation. Endocrinological examination then revealed mild hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperprolactinemia. Radiologically, a parathyroid tumor and a pancreatic tumor were found. The patient was referred to a university hospital and a mutation of MEN-1 gene was detected. The diagnosis of MEN-1 was confirmed about 1 year after the operation.

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