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Mol Hum Reprod. 2003 Sep;9(9):517-21.

No AZF deletion in 160 patients with testicular germ cell neoplasia.

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1
University Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

Testicular germ cell cancer is aetiologically linked to genital malformations and male infertility and is most probably caused by a disruption of embryonic programming and gonadal development during fetal life. In some cases, germ cell neoplasia is associated with a relative reduction of Y chromosomal material (e.g. 45,X/46,XY) or other abnormalities of the Y chromosome. The euchromatic long arm of the human Y chromosome (Yq11) contains three azoospermia factors (AZFa, AZFb, AZFc) functionally important in human spermatogenesis. Microdeletions encompassing one of these three AZF loci result in the deletion of multiple genes normally expressed in testis tissue and are associated with spermatogenic failure. The aim of our study was to investigate whether AZF microdeletions, in addition to causing infertility, predispose also to germ cell neoplasia, since subjects with poor spermatogenesis have an increased risk of testicular cancer. We screened for putative deletions of AZF loci on the Y chromosome in DNA isolated from white blood cells of 160 Danish patients with testicular germ cell neoplasia. Interestingly, although AZF microdeletions are found frequently in patients with idiopathic infertility, in all cases studied of testicular germ cell cancer the Yq region was found to be intact. We conclude that the molecular aetiology of testicular germ cell neoplasia of the young adult type most likely does not involve the same pathways as male infertility caused by AZF deletions. Malignant transformation of germ cells is thus caused by the dysfunction of some other genes that still need to be identified.

PMID:
12900510
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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