Granulosa cell tumours (GCT) of the ovary arise from granulosa cells of the ovary on morphological, biochemical and molecular criteria. In order to understand the molecular pathogenesis of these tumours better we have sought to define their molecular phenotype, to identify activating mutations of the FSH-signalling pathway, to characterise their estrogen receptor expression and to explore the hypothesis that GCT may be resistant to inhibin. The pattern of gene expression observed in GCT suggests a phenotype which is similar to that of late preovulatory granulosa cells which would be consistent with activation of the FSH receptor signalling pathway, however, there is no evidence for activating mutations of either the FSH receptor or the associated trimeric G-proteins. Estrogen receptor β is abundantly expressed in GCT. The various subunits and isoforms of the activin-inhibin receptor are expressed in GCT. These observations provide a basis for future studies of GCT, including further characterisation of signalling pathways known to be important in the regulation of granulosa cell growth and differentiation.
- Estrogen receptor
- FSH receptor