Genetic variants of GPER/GPR30, a novel estrogen-related G protein receptor, are associated with human seminoma.
ABSTRACT: Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid cancers in young men, with an increasing incidence over several years. However, their pathogenesis remains a matter of debate. Some epidemiological data suggest the involvement of both environmental and genetic factors. We reported two distinct effects of estrogens and/or xeno-estrogens on in vitro human seminoma-derived cells proliferation: (1) an antiproliferative effect via a classical estrogen receptor beta-dependent pathway, and (2) a promotive effect via a non-classical membrane G-protein-coupled receptor, GPR30/GPER, which is only overexpressed in seminomas, the most common TGCT. In order to explain this overexpression, we investigated the possible association of polymorphisms in the GPER gene by using allele-specific tetra-primer polymerase chain reaction performed on tissue samples from 150 paraffin-embedded TGCT specimens (131 seminomas, 19 non seminomas). Compared to control population, loss of homozygous ancestral genotype GG in two polymorphisms located in the promoter region of GPER (rs3808350 and rs3808351) was more frequent in seminomas but not in non-seminomas (respectively, OR = 1.960 (1.172-3.277) and 7.000 (2.747-17.840); p < 0.01). These polymorphisms may explain GPER overexpression and represent a genetic factor of susceptibility supporting the contribution of environmental GPER ligands in testicular carcinogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Testicular germ cell tumours are the most frequent cancer of young men with an increasing incidence all over the world. Pathogenesis and reasons of this increase remain unknown but epidemiological and clinical data have suggested that fetal exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) with estrogenic effects, could participate to testicular germ cell carcinogenesis. However, these EEDs (like bisphenol A) are often weak ligands for classical nuclear estrogen receptors. Several research groups recently showed that the non classical membrane G-protein coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) mediates the effects of estrogens and several xenoestrogens through rapid non genomic activation of signal transduction pathways in various human estrogen dependent cancer cells (breast, ovary, endometrium). The aim of this study was to demonstrate that GPER was overexpressed in testicular tumours and was able to trigger JKT-1 seminoma cell proliferation. RESULTS:We report here for the first time a complete morphological and functional characterization of GPER in normal and malignant human testicular germ cells. In normal adult human testes, GPER was expressed by somatic (Sertoli cells) and germ cells (spermatogonia and spermatocytes). GPER was exclusively overexpressed in seminomas, the most frequent testicular germ cell cancer, localized at the cell membrane and triggered a proliferative effect on JKT-1 cells in vitro, which was completely abolished by G15 (a GPER selective antagonist) and by siRNA invalidation. CONCLUSION:These results demonstrate that GPER is expressed by human normal adult testicular germ cells, specifically overexpressed in seminoma tumours and able to trigger seminoma cell proliferation in vitro. It should therefore be considered rather than classical ERs when xeno-estrogens or other endocrine disruptors are assessed in testicular germ cell cancers. It may also represent a prognosis marker and/or a therapeutic target for seminomas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The event of X chromosome inactivation induced by XIST, which is physiologically observed in females, is retained in testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), as a result of a supernumerary X chromosome constitution. X chromosome inactivation also occurs in male germline, specifically during spermatogenesis. We aimed to analyze the promoter methylation status of XIST in a series of TGCT tissues, representative cell lines, and testicular parenchyma. METHODS:Two independent cohorts were included, comprising a total of 413 TGCT samples, four (T)GCT cell lines, and 86 testicular parenchyma samples. The relative amount of methylated and demethylated XIST promoter fragments was assessed by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) and more sensitive high-resolution melting (HRM) methylation analyses. RESULTS:Seminomas showed a lower amount of methylated XIST fragments as compared to non-seminomas or normal testis (p < 0.0001), allowing for a good discrimination among these groups (area under the curve 0.83 and 0.81, respectively). Seminomas showed a significantly higher content of demethylated XIST as compared to non-seminomas. The percentage of demethylated XIST fragment in cell lines reflected their chromosomal constitution (number of extra X chromosomes). A novel and strong positive correlation between the Johnsen's score and XIST demethylation was identified (r = 0.75, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS:The X chromosome inactivation event and demethylated XIST promoter are promising biomarkers for TGCTs and for assessing spermatogenesis quality.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To report the long-term results of the sentinel node (SN) approach in patients with clinical stage I testicular tumours in our facility. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We conducted an analysis of 27 consecutive patients suspected of clinical stage I testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT) and treated with an SN procedure at our tertiary referral centre. SNs were identified using lymphoscintigraphy with or without single-photo-emission computed tomography with CT (SPECT/CT). Patients underwent laparoscopic retroperitoneal SN excision with inguinal orchiectomy. Patients with a tumour-positive SN underwent adjuvant treatment. Follow-up was conducted according to then-current guidelines. RESULTS:In two patients, no SNs were visualized on scintigraphy. In the remaining 25 patients, a median (range) of 3 (1-4) SNs per patient were removed. Two patients showed no malignancy on histopathological examination of the testis. Of the 23 patients diagnosed with TGCT (16 seminomas, seven non-seminomas), three (13.0%) had occult metastatic disease. All 23 patients were without evidence of disease at a median (range) follow-up of 63.9 (29.0-143.4) months. CONCLUSION:The SN procedure allows early identification of patients with occult metastatic disease in clinical stage I TGCT, enabling early treatment.
Project description:Platinum-based chemotherapy is usually curative for patients with testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), but a subset of patients experience disease progression and poor clinical outcomes. Here, we tested whether immune profiling of TGCT could identify novel prognostic markers and therapeutic targets for this patient cohort. We obtained primary and metastatic TGCT samples from one center. We performed immune profiling using multiplexed fluorescence immunohistochemistry (FIHC) for T-cell subsets and immune checkpoints, and targeted gene expression profiling (Nanostring nCounter Immune panel). Publically available data sets were used to validate primary sample analyses. Nearly all samples had some degree of T-cell infiltration and immune checkpoint expression. Seminomas were associated with increased CD3+ T-cell infiltration, decreased Regulatory T-cells, increased PD-L1, and increased PD-1/PD-L1 spatial interaction compared with non-seminomas using FIHC. Gene expression profiling confirmed these findings and also demonstrated increased expression of T-cell markers (e.g., IFN?, and LAG3) and cancer/testis antigens (e.g., PRAME) in seminomas, whereas non-seminomas demonstrated high neutrophil and macrophage gene signatures. Irrespective of histology, advanced TGCT stage was associated with decreased T-cell and NK-cell signatures, while Treg, neutrophil, mast cell and macrophage signatures increased with advanced stage. Importantly, cancer/testis antigen, neutrophil, and CD8+/regulatory T-cell signatures correlated with recurrence free survival. Thus, deep immune characterization of TGCT using IHC and gene expression profiling identified activated T-cell infiltration which correlated with seminoma histology and good prognosis. These results may provide a rationale for testing of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents and suggest prognostic markers.
Project description:Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) represent the second main cause of cancer-related death in young men. Despite high cure rates, refractory disease results in poor prognosis. Epigenetic reprogramming occurs during the development of seminomas and non-seminomas. Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of these tumors would represent an important advance in the search for new TGCT molecular markers. Hence the frequency of methylation of a gene panel (VGF, MGMT, ADAMTS1, CALCA, HOXA9, CDKN2B, CDO1 and NANOG) was evaluated in 72 primary TGCT by quantitative methylation specific PCR. A high frequency of MGMT (90.9%, 20/22; p=0.019) and CALCA (90.5%, 19/21; p<0.026) methylation was associated with non-seminomatous tumors while CALCA methylation was also associated with refractory disease (47.4%, 09/19; p=0.005). Moreover, promoter methylation of both genes predicts poor clinical outcome for TGCT patients (5-year EFS: 50.5% vs 77.1%; p=0.032 for MGMT and 51.3% vs 77.0%; p=0.029 for CALCA). The findings of this study indicate that methylation of MGMT and CALCA are frequent and could be used as new molecular markers of prognosis in TGCT.
Project description:The current working model of type II testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) pathogenesis states that carcinoma in situ arises during embryogenesis, is a necessary precursor, and always progresses to cancer. An implicit condition of this model is that only in utero exposures affect the development of TGCT in later life. In an age-period-cohort analysis, this working model contends an absence of calendar period deviations. We tested this contention using data from the SEER registries of the United States.We assessed age-period-cohort models of TGCTs, seminomas, and nonseminomas for the period 1973-2008. Analyses were restricted to whites diagnosed at ages 15-74 years. We tested whether calendar period deviations were significant in TGCT incidence trends adjusted for age deviations and cohort effects.This analysis included 32,250 TGCTs (18,475 seminomas and 13,775 nonseminomas). Seminoma incidence trends have increased with an average annual percentage change in log-linear rates (net drift) of 1.25 %, relative to just 0.14 % for nonseminoma. In more recent time periods, TGCT incidence trends have plateaued and then undergone a slight decrease. Calendar period deviations were highly statistically significant in models of TGCT (p = 1.24(-9)) and seminoma (p = 3.99(-14)), after adjustment for age deviations and cohort effects; results for nonseminoma (p = 0.02) indicated that the effects of calendar period were much more muted.Calendar period deviations play a significant role in incidence trends of TGCT, which indicates that postnatal exposures are etiologically relevant.
Project description:Apoptosis is an integral part of the spermatogenic process, necessary to maintain a proper ratio of Sertoli to germ cell numbers and provide an adequate microenvironment to germ cells. Apoptosis may also represent a protective mechanism mediating the elimination of abnormal germ cells. Extensive apoptosis occurs between the first and second postnatal weeks, at the point when gonocytes, precursors of spermatogonial stem cells, should have migrated toward the basement membrane of the tubules and differentiated into spermatogonia. The mechanisms regulating this process are not well-understood. Gonocytes undergo phases of proliferation, migration, and differentiation which occur in a timely and closely regulated manner. Gonocytes failing to migrate and differentiate properly undergo apoptosis. Inadequate gonocyte differentiation has been suggested to lead to testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) formation. Here, we examined the expression levels of apoptosis-related genes during gonocyte differentiation by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, identifying 48 pro- and anti-apoptotic genes increased by at least two-fold in rat gonocytes induced to differentiate by retinoic acid, when compared to untreated gonocytes. Further analysis of the most highly expressed genes identified the pro-apoptotic genes Gadd45a and Cycs as upregulated in differentiating gonocytes and in spermatogonia compared with gonocytes. These genes were also significantly downregulated in seminomas, the most common type of TGCT, compared with normal human testicular tissues. These results indicate that apoptosis-related genes are actively regulated during gonocyte differentiation. Moreover, the down-regulation of pro-apoptotic genes in seminomas suggests that they could represent new therapeutic targets in the treatment of TGCTs.
Project description: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 http://www.crukdmf.icr.ac.uk/array/array.html.
Project description:We have previously shown that estrogens binding to estrogen receptor (ER) ? increase proliferation of Leydig tumor cells. Estrogens can also bind to G protein-coupled ER (GPER) and activation of this receptor can either increase or decrease cell proliferation of several tumor types. The aim of this study was to investigate GPER expression in R2C rat tumor Leydig cells, evaluate effects of its activation on Leydig tumor cell proliferation and define the molecular mechanisms triggered in response to its activation. R2C cells express GPER and its activation, using the specific ligand G-1, is associated with decreased cell proliferation and initiation of apoptosis. Apoptosis after G-1 treatment was asserted by appearance of DNA condensation and fragmentation, decrease in Bcl-2 and increase in Bax expression, cytochrome c release, caspase and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) activation. These effects were dependent on GPER activation because after silencing of the gene, using a specific small interfering RNA, cyt c release, PARP-1 activation and decrease in cell proliferation were abrogated. These events required a rapid, however, sustained extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 activation. G-1 was able to decrease the growth of R2C xenograft tumors in CD1 nude mice while increasing the number of apoptotic cells. In addition, in vivo administration of G-1 to male CD1 mice did not cause any alteration in testicular morphology, while cisplatin, the cytotoxic drug currently used for the therapy of Leydig tumors, severely damaged testicular structure, an event associated with infertility in cisplatin-treated patients. These observations indicate that GPER targeting for the therapy of Leydig cell tumor may represent a good alternative to cisplatin to preserve fertility in Leydig tumor patients.
Project description:Seminoma is a subclass of human testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), the most frequently observed cancer in young men with a rising incidence. Here we describe the identification of a novel gene predisposing specifically to seminoma formation in a vertebrate model organism. Zebrafish carrying a heterozygous nonsense mutation in Leucine-Rich Repeat Containing protein 50 (lrrc50 also called dnaaf1), associated previously with ciliary function, are found to be highly susceptible to the formation of seminomas. Genotyping of these zebrafish tumors shows loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the wild-type lrrc50 allele in 44.4% of tumor samples, correlating with tumor progression. In humans we identified heterozygous germline LRRC50 mutations in two different pedigrees with a family history of seminomas, resulting in a nonsense Arg488* change and a missense Thr590Met change, which show reduced expression of the wild-type allele in seminomas. Zebrafish in vivo complementation studies indicate the Thr590Met to be a loss-of-function mutation. Moreover, we show that a pathogenic Gln307Glu change is significantly enriched in individuals with seminoma tumors (13% of our cohort). Together, our study introduces an animal model for seminoma and suggests LRRC50 to be a novel tumor suppressor implicated in human seminoma pathogenesis.