Glycoprotein hormone subunit alpha 2 (GPHA2): A pituitary stem cell-expressed gene associated with NOTCH2 signaling

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NOTCH2 is expressed in pituitary stem cells and is necessary for stem cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. However, the pathways NOTCH2 engages to affect pituitary development remain unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that glycoprotein hormone subunit A2 (GPHA2), a corneal stem cell factor and ligand for the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR), is downstream of NOTCH2 signaling. We found Gpha2 is expressed in quiescent pituitary stem cells by RNAscope in situ hybridization and scRNA seq. In Notch2 conditional knockout pituitaries, Gpha2 mRNA is reduced compared with control littermates. We then investigated the possible functions of GPHA2. Pituitaries treated with a GPHA2 peptide do not have a change in proliferation. However, in dissociated adult pituitary cells, GPHA2 increased pCREB expression and this induction was reversed by co-treatment with a TSHR inhibitor. These data suggest GPHA2 is a NOTCH2 related stem cell factor that activates TSHR signaling, potentially impacting pituitary development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112163
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - May 15 2024


  • Gpha2
  • Notch signaling
  • Pituitary development
  • Stem cell
  • TSH receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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