c-Myc, c-fos, and c-myb gene expression in human pituitary adenomas

M. Woloschak, J. L. Roberts, K. Post

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51 Scopus citations


The possible roles of certain oncogenes in the development of pituitary tumors has not been investigated. We have examined the expression of c-myc, c-fos, and c-myb in a number of human pituitary tumors by ribonuclease protection assays, as these oncogenes have been implicated to have roles in the pathogenesis of other human tumors (12, 13, 15, 16). In several tumors examined (9 of 30) c-myc was expressed at levels 4-9 times greater than the level detected in normal postmortem pituitary. Although a larger percentage of negative immunohistochemical-staining tumors overexpressed c-myc, c-myc overexpression was not limited to this group of tumors. c-Fos was overexpressed in 1 of 30 tumors examined at a level 5.8-fold higher than that detected in normal postmortem pituitary. This tumor stained positive for ACTH by immunohistochemistry and was considered highly aggressive, demonstrating invasion beyond the sella turcica; however, when other ACTH-staining and invasive pituitary tumors were examined, no abnormality in the expression of c-fos was detected. In 30 tumors, c-myb was expressed at approximately the same level as that detected in normal postmortem pituitary. We conclude that c-myc is overexpressed in a subgroup of pituitary tumors and that this overexpression occurs broadly among the different groups of immunohistochemical-staining tumors. c-Fos overexpression appears to be much less common in pituitary tumors and does not necessarily correlate with the ability of the tumor to become invasive. c-Myb does not appear to have a role in the pathogenesis of pituitary tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994


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