Human embryonic stem cell genes OCT4, NANOG, STELLAR, and GDF3 are expressed in both seminoma and breast carcinoma
Article first published online: 14 OCT 2005
Copyright © 2005 American Cancer Society
Volume 104, Issue 10, pages 2255–2265, 15 November 2005
How to Cite
Ezeh, U. I., Turek, P. J., Reijo, R. A. and Clark, A. T. (2005), Human embryonic stem cell genes OCT4, NANOG, STELLAR, and GDF3 are expressed in both seminoma and breast carcinoma. Cancer, 104: 2255–2265. doi: 10.1002/cncr.21432
- Issue published online: 31 OCT 2005
- Article first published online: 14 OCT 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 7 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Received: 27 JAN 2005
- Lance Armstrong Foundation
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: RO1 HD037095
- Reproductive Sciences Training. Grant Number: T32 H0007263
- breast carcinoma
The seminoma class of testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) are characterized by a morphological resemblance to primordial germ cells (PGCs) or gonocytes, and chromosome duplications at 12p. Recently, it was determined that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) express genes in common with PGCs, and that three of these genes, GDF3, STELLAR, and NANOG, are located on 12p. The current study was designed to identify whether expression of these 12p genes were elevated in seminoma relative to normal testis, and to determine whether elevated expression was unique to seminoma.
Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry were used to assess gene expression in seminoma samples relative to normal testis and endpoint PCR was used to identify the presence or absence of these genes in breast carcinoma.
GDF3 expression was increased in eight of nine seminomas compared with normal testis, whereas NANOG, OCT4, or both were expressed at the highest levels in seminoma compared with all other markers analyzed. In addition, the NANOG protein was expressed in the majority of seminoma cells. The adult meiotic germ cell markers BOULE and TEKT1 were undetectable in seminoma, whereas the embryonic and adult germ cell markers DAZL and VASA were significantly reduced. Analysis of these markers in breast carcinoma and the MCF7 breast carcinoma cell line revealed that a core hESC-transcriptional profile could be identified consisting of OCT4, NANOG, STELLAR, and GDF3 and that NANOG protein could be detected in breast carcinoma.
These observations suggest that seminoma and breast carcinoma express a common stem cell profile and that the expression of DAZL and VASA in seminoma mark the germ cell origin of seminoma that is absent in breast carcinoma. Our findings suggest that stem cell genes may either play a direct role in different types of carcinoma progression or serve as valuable markers of tumorigenesis. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.