MENIN-mediated regulation of gastrin gene expression and its role in gastrinoma development

Uloma B. Elvis-Offiah, Suzann Duan, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia I (MEN1) locus encodes the protein MENIN, which functions as a tumor suppressor protein in neuroendocrine tissues. Gastrinomas are neuroendocrine neoplasms that overproduce the hormone gastrin and can arise sporadically or as part of the MEN1 syndrome, in which mutations in the MEN1 gene lead to loss or inactivation of MENIN protein. Gastrin is a peptide hormone that is primarily synthesized in the gastric antrum and stimulates the secretion of histamine from enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells and subsequently acid from parietal cells in the gastric corpus. In addition, gastrin exerts a mitogenic function primarily on ECL cells and progenitor cells in the gastric isthmus. Current studies seek to understand how MEN1 mutations generate a mutant MENIN protein that abrogates its tumor suppressor function. Mutations in the MEN1 gene are broadly distributed throughout its nine protein-coding exons, making it difficult to correlate protein structure with its function. Although disruption of the Men1 locus in mice causes functional neuroendocrine tumors in the pituitary and pancreas, gastrinomas do not develop in these transgenic animal models. Prior studies of human gastrinomas suggest that tissue-specific microenvironmental cues in the submucosal foregut may contribute to tumorigenesis by reprogramming of epithelial cells toward the neuroendocrine phenotype. Accordingly, recent studies suggest that neural crest-derived cells are also sensitive to reprogramming when MEN1 is deleted or mutated. Thus, the goal of this report is to review our current understanding of how MENIN modulates gastrin gene expression while highlighting its role in the prevention/suppression of neuroendocrine cell transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22913
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Brunner's glands
  • GEP-NENs
  • GFAP
  • multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)
  • neuroendocrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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