Phosphorylation of β-catenin at Serine552 correlates with invasion and recurrence of non-functioning pituitary neuroendocrine tumours

Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022 Sep 16;10(1):138. doi: 10.1186/s40478-022-01441-5.


Non-functioning pituitary tumours (NF-PitNETs) are common intracranial benign neoplasms that can exhibit aggressive behaviour by invading neighbouring structures and, in some cases, have multiple recurrences. Despite resulting in severe co-morbidities, no predictive biomarkers of recurrence have been identified for NF-PitNETs. In this study we have used high-throughput mass spectrometry-based analysis to examine the phosphorylation pattern of different subsets of NF-PitNETs. Based on histopathological, radiological, surgical and clinical features, we have grouped NF-PitNETs into non-invasive, invasive, and recurrent disease groups. Tumour recurrence was determined based on regular clinical and radiological data of patients for a mean follow-up of 10 years (SD ± 5.4 years). Phosphoproteomic analyses identified a unique phosphopeptide enrichment pattern which correlates with disease recurrence. Candidate phosphorylated proteins were validated in a large cohort of NF-PitNET patients by western blot and immunohistochemistry. We identified a cluster of 22 phosphopeptides upregulated in recurrent NF-PitNETs compared to non-invasive and invasive subgroups. We reveal significant phosphorylation of the β-catenin at Ser552 in recurrent and invasive NF-PitNETs, compared to non-invasive/non-recurrent NF-PitNET subgroup. Moreover, β-catenin pSer552 correlates with the recurrence free survival among 200 patients with NF-PitNET. Together, our results suggest that the phosphorylation status of β-catenin at Ser552 could act as potential biomarker of tumour recurrence in NF-PitNETs.

Keywords: Non-functioning pituitary tumours; Phosphoproteomics; Prognostic; β-catenin-pSerine552.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / metabolism
  • Phosphopeptides / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Phosphopeptides
  • beta Catenin