Heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) facilitates rat lactotrope cell tumorigenesis and induces prolactin gene transcription

Ilan Shimon, Anita Hüttner, Jonathan Said, Olga M. Spirina, Shlomo Melmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have shown previously that human prolactinomas express transforming sequences of the heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) which encodes fibroblast growth factor-4 (FGF-4). To elucidate the role of hst in pituitary tumorigenesis we treated primary rat pituitary and pituitary tumor cell cultures with recombinant FGF-4 and also stably transfected pituitary cell lines with full-length human hst cDNA. Transfectants were screened for hst mRNA expression and FGF-4 production. FGF-4 (0.1-50 ng/ml) caused a dose- dependent 2.5-fold increase of prolactin (PRL) secretion (P < 0.001) in GH4 cells and up to 60% (P < 0.05) in primary cultures, while decreasing growth hormone release (P < 0.001). GH4 hst transfectants displayed markedly enhanced basal PRL secretion (threefold, P < 0.001) and also proliferated faster (P < 0.001). FGF-4 treatment of wild-type GH4 cells, transiently transfected with an expression construct (rPRL.luc) containing a luciferase reporter driven by the rPRL promoter, resulted in a dose-dependent increase of up to 3.3-fold in PRL transcriptional activity. Tumors derived from in vivo subcutaneous injection of GH4 hst-transfected cells strongly expressing FGF-4 grew more aggressively as assessed by histologic invasiveness and proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining (P < 0.01). The results indicate that hst overexpression mediates lactotrope tumor growth and potently stimulates PRL synthesis. Thus, hst may directly facilitate prolactinoma development via paracrine or autocrine action of its secreted protein, FGF- 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • fibroblast growth factor-4
  • growth factor
  • pituitary adenoma
  • prolactinoma


Dive into the research topics of 'Heparin-binding secretory transforming gene (hst) facilitates rat lactotrope cell tumorigenesis and induces prolactin gene transcription'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this