Loss of Heterozygosity and Decreased Expression of NME Genes Correlate with Teratomatous Differentiation in Human Male Germ Cell Tumors
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Embryonal carcinoma in the human male is a pluripotential germ cell tumor (GCT), which is suggested to further differentiate to teratoma which displays somatic differentiation representing all three germinal layers. In a panel of 37 GCTs we determined frequency of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and the level of expression of nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) genes NME 1 and NME 2. The frequency of LOH in teratomas (86%) was found to be highly significant (P < 0.01) compared to embryonal carcinomas (17%). We also found that the NME encoded proteins are expressed at a 4-5 fold lower level in teratomas compared to embryonal carcinomas. These findings lead us to hypothesize that a critical level of NDPK may be necessary for suppression of aberrant somatic differentiation.