UCLA-led team may have found key to cause of Cushing disease

Cushing disease is a life-threatening disorder most commonly triggered by tumors, often benign, in the pituitary glands, resulting in excess production of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). The condition is marked by progressive weight gain, excessive fatty tissue deposits and a rounding of facial features, known as "moon face," and can lead to diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological disturbances.

Cushing disease, which is more common in women than men, is also associated with a three- to four-fold increase in the risk of premature death. But what drives the tumor growth and the excess production of ACTH?

UCLA researchers and their colleagues have now found that testicular orphan 4 (TR4) is overexpressed in the tumors. The scientists discovered that by knocking down TR4 in , they were able to reverse tumor growth and excess ACTH production.

The findings could potentially lead to a drug therapy for Cushing disease.

The findings were published in the May 21 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New York 'fully prepared' to handle Ebola case: mayor

29 minutes ago

New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading, after a doctor tested positive for the disease.

Two US nurses are declared cured of Ebola

29 minutes ago

Two American nurses were declared cured of Ebola on Friday, and one was healthy enough to leave hospital and make plans to meet President Barack Obama.

Aid group: No need to isolate staff treating Ebola

1 hour ago

Doctors Without Borders insisted Friday, after one of its doctors who worked in Guinea came down with Ebola in New York, that quarantines of health workers returning from the hot zone are not necessary when ...

New York on alert over first Ebola case

1 hour ago

New York went on alert Friday as authorities sought to calm fears among the city's 8.4 million residents after a doctor tested positive for Ebola.

User comments