The testes are where spermatogenesis, the sperm-generating process that is unique to men, occurs. Importantly, human spermatogenesis and tumorigenesis share key similarities. Until now, only a few proteins in the human testis have been identified due to limitations of available technology. In this paper, using an advanced proteomics platform, we have identified 7346 unique proteins within the human testis with a high degree of confidence. Immunohistochemistry data from the Human Protein Atlas database show over 90% (1833/2020) of identified proteins can be detected in the human testis using specific antibodies. To make the data widely available to the scientific community, an online Human Testis Proteome Database (HTPD, http://reprod.njmu.edu.cn/htpd/) was built. Many of the identified human testicular proteins are associated with human infertility, especially human testicular predominantly expressed proteins. We characterized six novel cancer/testis genes (TMPRSS12, TPPP2, PRSS55, DMRT1, PIWIL1, HEMGN), which map to cancer-associated genetic variants positions, in both the cancer and testis tissues using genome-wide analyses. Our results provide a molecular connection between spermatogenesis and tumorigenesis and broaden the range of cancer antigen choice available for immunotherapy.
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