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Researchers have determined mutations in the gene CABLES1 may lead to Cushing syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol. The National Institutes of Health study findings published in Endocrine-Related Cancer found four of the 181 children and adult patient examined had mutant forms of CABLES1 that do not respond to cortisol. The determination proved significant because normal functioning CABLES1 protein, expressed by the CABLES1 gene, slows the division and growth of pituitary cells that produce the hormone adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). Researchers at the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) joined scientists from other institutions in the United States, France and Canada, in the evaluation. “The mutations we identified impair the tumor suppressor function in the pituitary gland,” Constantine A. Stratakis, the study’s senior author and director of the NICHD Division of Intramural Research, said. “This discovery could lead to the development of treatment strategies that simulate the function of the CABLES1 protein and prevent recurrence of pituitary tumors in people with Cushing syndrome.” Cushing syndrome symptoms include obesity, muscle weakness, fatigue, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression and anxiety, officials said, adding excess cortisol found in the disorder can result from certain steroid medications or from tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands. Researchers maintain that more studies are needed to fully understand how CABLES1 suppresses tumor formation in the pituitary gland. From https://lifesciencedaily.com/stories/21624-study-links-genetic-mutations-cushing-syndrome/