Clinical and biochemical characteristics of acromegalic patients harboring gsp-positive and gsp-negative pituitary tumors

Neurosurgery. 1993 Aug;33(2):198-203; discussion 203. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199308000-00003.


A subgroup of growth hormone (GH)-secreting pituitary tumors carries somatic mutations within the gene coding for the alpha subunit of the stimulatory heterotrimeric guanosine 5'-triphosphate-binding protein, Gs alpha. These so-called gsp mutations result in constitutively activated Gs alpha and the signal transduction cascade downstream of it, with eventual markedly and continuously elevated cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels as a result of constitutive adenylyl cyclase activity. It is this elevation of intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate that is thought to be the cause of excessive GH secretion and somatotroph proliferation. We examined the clinical and biochemical characteristics of acromegalics harboring gsp-positive and gsp-negative pituitary tumors. Of 19 tumors studied, 8 (42%) were gsp positive. There was a slight tendency for basal GH levels in serum to be lower and to be further reduced by an oral glucose tolerance test in gsp-positive patients. However, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of clinical features, tumor size, mitotic activity (as assessed by cytosolic deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase and KI-67 staining), and in vitro GH response to GH releasing factor. We conclude that there is, in general, little difference in the clinical and biochemical characteristics between gsp-positive and gsp-negative human pituitary GH-secreting tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / enzymology
  • Acromegaly / genetics*
  • Adenoma / enzymology
  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / physiology
  • Adult
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Cyclic AMP
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Adenylyl Cyclases