Mutation of the POU-Specific Domain of Pit-1 and Hypopituitarism Without Pituitary Hypoplasia

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Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1118-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1118


A point mutation in the POU-specific portion of the human gene that encodes the tissuespecific POU-domain transcription factor, Pit-1, results in hypopituitarism, with deficiencies of growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. In two unrelated Dutch families, a mutation in Pit-1 that altered an alanine in the first putative α helix of the POU-specific domain to proline was observed. This mutation generated a protein capable of binding to DNA response elments but unable to effectively activate its known target genes, growth hormone and prolactin. The phenotype of the affected individuals suggests that the mutant Pit-1 protein is competent to initiate other programs of gene activation required for normal proliferation of somatotrope, lactotrope, and thyrotrope cell types. Thus, a mutation in the POU-specific domain of Pit-1 has a selective effect on a subset of Pit-1 target genes.

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