The role of spermatogenesis-associated protein 6 in testicular germ cell tumors

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Aug 1;8(8):9119-25. eCollection 2015.


Objectives: To investigate the role of spermatogenesis-associated protein 6 (SPATA6) in the testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs).

Methods: Human embryonic carcinoma (EC)-derived cell line NTera2 was employed and randomly divided into normal control group, SPATA6c group, siSPATA6c group, and SPATA6c + siSPATA6c group. The recombinant expression vector pcDNA3.1 (+)-SPATA6 and target sequence for SPATA6-specific siRNA was transfected into NTera2 cells in the SPATA6c group and siSPATA6c group, respectively. The SPATA6 protein levels in each group were determined by Western blot. Cell proliferation and apoptosis rate were assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2 5-diphenyl-2Htetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay and flow cytometry (FCM) assay, respectively. In addition, Western blot was performed to investigate the expression of Bax and B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)-2 in each group.

Results: Compared with control group, protein levels of SPATA6 were significantly reduced in the siSPATA6c group, but were statistically increased in the SPATA6c group (P < 0.05). Similarly, the cell viability was significantly decreased by transfection with SPATA6 siRNA, but was increased by transfection with pcDNA3.1 (+)-SPATA6 compared with the control group. Moreover, the percentages of apoptosis cell were significantly higher in siSPATA6 group than those in the three groups. After transfection of SPATA6 siRNA, the expression of Bax was significantly increased, but the expression of Bcl-2 was markedly decreased than that in the control group and SPATA6c group.

Conclusion: SPATA6 may play an important role in TGCTs, and down-regulation of SPATA6 could lead to apoptosis of TGCTs.

Keywords: Spermatogenesis-associated protein 6; apoptosis; testicular germ cell tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics
  • Testicular Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • SPATA6 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor