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Abstract

The protein kinase gene family is the most frequently mutated in human cancer. Previous work has documented activating mutations in the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase in testicular germ-cell tumors (TGCT). To investigate further the potential role of mutated protein kinases in the development of TGCT and to characterize the prevalence and patterns of point mutations in these tumors, we have sequenced the coding exons and splice junctions of the annotated protein kinase family of 518 genes in a series of seven seminomas and six nonseminomas. Our results show a remarkably low mutation frequency, with only a single somatic point mutation, a K277E mutation in the STK10 gene, being identified in a total of more than 15 megabases of sequence analyzed. Sequencing of STK10 in an additional 40 TGCTs revealed no further mutations. Comparative genomic hybridization and LOH analysis using SNP arrays demonstrated that the 13 TGCTs mutationally screened through the 518 protein kinase genes were uniformly aneuploid with consistent chromosomal gains on 12p, 8q, 7, and X and losses on 13q, 18q, 11q, and 4q. Our results do not provide evidence for a mutated protein kinase implicated in the development of TGCT other than KIT. Moreover, they demonstrate that the general prevalence of point mutations in TGCT is low, in contrast to the high frequency of copy number changes. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.