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Bull Cancer. 2012 Sep;99(9):827-43. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2012.1621.

[Cytogenomic studies of hydatiform moles and gestational choriocarcinoma].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Institut Gustave-Roussy, Inserm U985, Villejuif, France, Inserm, Clamart, France.


The complete hydatidiform mole (CHM), a gestational trophoblastic disease, is usually caused by the development of an androgenic egg whose genome is exclusively paternal. Due to parental imprinting, only trophoblasts develop in the absence of a fetus. CHM are diploid and no abnormal karyotype is observed. It is 46,XX in most cases and less frequently 46,XY. The major complication of this disease is gestational choriocarcinoma, a metastasizing tumor and a true allografted malignancy. This complication is infrequent in developed countries, but is more common in the developing countries and is then worsened by delayed care. The malignancies are often accompanied by acquired, possibly etiological genomic abnormalities. We investigated the presence of recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities in CHM and post-molar choriocarcinoma using metaphasic CGH (mCGH) and high-resolution 244K aCGH techniques. The 10 CHM studied by mCGH showed no chromosomal gains or losses. For post-molar choriocarcinoma, 11 tumors, whose diagnosis was verified by histopathology, were investigated by aCGH. Their androgenic nature and the absence of tumor DNA contamination by maternal DNA were verified by the analysis of microsatellite markers. Three choriocarcinoma cell lines (BeWo, JAR and JEG) were also analyzed by aCGH. The results allowed us to observe some chromosomal rearrangements in primary tumors, and more in the cell lines. Chromosomal abnormalities were confirmed by FISH and functional effect by immunohistochemical analysis of gene expression. Forty minimum critical regions (MCR) were defined on chromosomes. Candidate genes implicated in choriocarcinoma oncogenesis were selected. The presence in the MCR of many miRNA clusters whose expression is modulated by parental imprinting has been observed, for example in 14q32 or in 19q13.4. This suggests that, in gestational choriocarcinoma, the consequences of gene abnormalities directly linked to acquired chromosomal abnormalities are superimposed upon those of imprinted genes altered at fertilization.

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