Targeted expression of a human pituitary tumor derived-fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4) recapitulates pituitary tumorigenesis. We have shown that FGFR4 is a target for Ikaros, a zinc finger-containing transcription factor that localizes to heterochromatin regions and participates in higher order chromatin complexes and control of gene expression. We report here the expression of Ikaros and functional differences between its alternatively spliced variants in human pituitary tumors. Ik1 expression was detected in human pituitary tumors and we also identified a truncated isoform consistent with the non-DNA-binding Ik6 isoform in a subset of adenomas by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, sequencing, and Western immunoblotting. Transfection of Ik6 in GH4 pituitary cells resulted in predominantly cytoplasmic expression as compared to Ik1, which resulted in exclusively nuclear expression as determined by immunofluorescence and immunoblotting of fractionated protein. Immunohistochemistry of primary human pituitary adenomas localized Ikaros expression to the nuclear compartment but also in the cytoplasm, the latter consistent with Ik6. Expression of Ikaros and truncated non-DNA-binding isoforms was also suggested by electromobility shift assays using nuclear proteins from primary human pituitary adenomas. Ik6 resulted in reversal of the effects of Ik1 on wild-type 5′ FGFR4 promoter activity, histone acetylation, and regulation of the endogenous gene. We conclude that dominant-negative Ik6 isoforms with their distinct localization and effects on Ik1 action may contribute to the altered expression of FGFR4 and possibly other target genes in human pituitary tumors.
Ezzat, S., Yu, S., & Asa, S. L. (2003). Ikaros isoforms in human pituitary tumors: Distinct localization, histone acetylation, and activation of the 5′ fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 promoter. American Journal of Pathology, 163(3), 1177–1184. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63477-3