Molecular pathology of pituitary adenomas

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SummaryA great deal of knowledge about anterior pituitary development, the pathogenesis of pituitary tumor and pituitary tumor progression has accumulated during the past decade. The role of multiple genes and gene products in pituitary development and the relationship of these genes to postnatal pituitary function and pituitary tumor development are being actively explored.Recent studies indicate that genes important in pituitary development do not contribute to pituitary tumorigenesis. However, mutations and other genetic alterations in these genes often lead to pituitary hypofunction. Many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that contribute to pituitary tumorigenesis have been described. There is a growing body of evidence showing that cellular and molecular changes in cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors contribute to pituitary tumorigenesis. Finally, recent comparative genomic hybridization studies show that many more genes that are important in pituitary tumorigenesis and tumor progression have yet to be discovered.

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