Background: Germline aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) mutations occur in 15% of familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) cases. To date, studies have focused on the identification of such mutations in large international cohorts. Detailed genetic and clinical studies within AIP mutation-positive families have been limited.
Aim: To undertake a comprehensive study of a large Brazilian FIPA kindred with an E174 frameshift (E174fs) AIP mutation to assess clinical, hormonal, and radiological features in mutation carriers.
Methods: The kindred included 122 subjects across six generations; all underwent clinical examination. Genetic studies were performed to identify E174fs mutation carriers. E174fs-positive subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and hormonal assessments.
Results: Of the ten germline AIP mutation carriers, three had pituitary tumors, while seven were asymptomatic carriers. Three patients with pituitary tumors showed variability in terms of tumor phenotype (two with acromegaly, one with prolactinoma, or mixed prolactin/GH-secreting tumor) and age at diagnosis; both patients with acromegaly had poor responses to octreotide. Tumor AIP immunohistochemistry from the operated patient showed decreased expression when compared with normal tissue. Two adult subjects with normal MRI had elevated IGF-I in the absence of other causes. A 2-year-old child with the E174fs mutation and a normal MRI had premature thelarche, ovarian development, and advanced bone age in the absence of other underlying causes.
Conclusions: The penetrance of pituitary tumors in AIP mutation-positive adult subjects was 33.3%, while clinical/hormonal features were variable. The features noted in AIP-mutation carriers in this kindred suggest that clinical characteristics of such carriers may extend beyond pituitary tumors.