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J Hum Genet. 2017 Jun;62(6):637-640. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2017.20. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Mosaic chromosome Y loss and testicular germ cell tumor risk.

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research, Frederick, MD, USA.


Studies have suggested mosaic loss of chromosome Y (mLOY) in blood-derived DNA is common in older men. Cohort studies investigating mLOY and mortality have reported contradictory results. Previous work found that a 1.6 Mb deletion of the AZFc region on the Y chromosome (the 'gr/gr' deletion) is associated with both male infertility and increased risk of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). We investigated whether mosaic loss across the entire Y chromosome was associated with TGCT. We obtained blood- and buccal-derived DNA from two case-control studies: the NCI Familial Testicular Cancer Study (cases=172; controls=163) and the NCI US Servicemen's Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants Study (cases=506; controls=611). We used 15 quantitative polymerase chain reactions spanning the Y chromosome to assess mLOY. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for study batch effects detected no significant overall relationship between mean chromosome Y target-to-reference (T/R) ratio and TGCT (odds ratio=0.34, 95% confidence interval=0.10-1.17, P=0.09). When restricted to familial TGCT cases, a significantly lower T/R ratio was observed in cases compared with controls (0.993 vs 1.014, P-value=0.01). Our study suggests that mLOY, as measured by 15 probes spanning the Y chromosome, could be associated with familial TGCT, but larger studies are required to confirm this observation.

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