RET gene mutations are not involved in the origin of human testicular seminoma.


  • Chevalier N.
  • Barlier Anne A.
  • Roche C.
  • Mograbi B.
  • Camparo P.
  • Devouassoux-Shisheboran Mojgan
  • Michiels J.-F.
  • Nebout M.
  • Chevallier D.
  • Benahmed M.
  • Enjalbert A.
  • Fénichel P.

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Testicular germ cell cancers are the most common solid malignancies in young men, but their pathogenesis remains undetermined although some epidemiological data have implicated both environmental and genetic factors. Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is secreted by Sertoli cells, and promotes germ stem cell proliferation by activating RET, a tyrosine kinase receptor. Over-expression of GDNF in adult transgenic mice induces the development of testicular tumours that mimic human seminoma, the most frequent testicular germ cell tumour. Activating mutations of RET were previously reported in several types of cancer, including thyroid, pituitary, adrenal and melanoma cancer. Both mouse experimental model and clinical studies suggested that mutations or selective polymorphisms of RET might be associated with human seminoma. To verify this hypothesis, we conducted this study in a French University Hospital and carried out an association study using tissue samples from 66 paraffin-embedded seminoma tumours. The most frequently mutated exons of the RET proto-oncogene were sequenced to identify mutations or selective polymorphisms. No somatic mutations were identified. The polymorphic variants frequencies did not differ from those in a control Caucasian population. Human classical seminoma that occurs in young men does not appear to be linked with mutations or relevant polymorphisms of RET.

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