Gene Predisposing To Pituitary Tumors Identified

A recent Finnish study identifies a low-penetrance gene defect which predisposes carriers to intracranial tumors called pituitary adenomas. In particular individuals carrying the gene defect are susceptible to such tumors which secrete growth hormone. Excess of growth hormone results in conditions called acromegaly and gigantism. Identification of this gene defect using DNA-chip technologies is an example how genetic research can tackle more and more demanding tasks, such as identification of predisposition genes conferring a low absolute but high relative risk. The results are published in the May 26 issue of the journal Science.

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