Genomic copy number and expression patterns in testicular germ cell tumours

Br J Cancer. 2007 Dec 17;97(12):1707-12. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604079. Epub 2007 Dec 4.


Testicular germ cell tumours of adults and adolescents (TGCT) include seminomas (SE) and nonseminomas (NS), with spermatocytic seminomas (SSE) representing a distinct entity in older men. SE and NS have gain of 12p material in all cases, whereas SSE are associated with overrepresentation of chromosome 9. Here, we compare at the chromosomal level, copy number imbalances with global expression changes, identified by comparative expressed sequence hybridisation analyses, in seven SE, one combined tumour, seven NS and seven cell lines. Positive correlations were found consistent with copy number as a main driver of expression change, despite reported differences in methylation status in SE and NS. Analysis of chromosomal copy number and expression data could not distinguish between SE and NS, in-keeping with a similar genetic pathogenesis. However, increased expression from 4q22, 5q23.2 and 9p21 distinguished SSE from SE and NS and decreased copy number and expression from 2q36-q37 and 6q24 was a specific feature of NS-derived cell lines. Our analysis also highlights 19 regions with both copy number and expression imbalances in greater than 40% of cases. Mining available expression array data identified genes from these regions as candidates for involvement in TGCT development. Supplementary data is available at

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics*