Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 755 - 760 (2010)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.082668ss
© UPV/EHU Press

Analysis of SOX2 expression in developing human testis and germ cell neoplasia

Si B. Sonne1, Rebecca M. Perrett2, John E. Nielsen1, Melissa A. Baxter3, David M. Kristensen1, Henrik Leffers1, Neil A. Hanley2,3 and Ewa Rajpert-De-Meyts*,1,4

1University Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells & Regeneration, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, and 3Endocrine Sciences Research Group, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

ABSTRACT The transcriptional regulators of pluripotency, POU5F1 (OCT4), NANOG and SOX2, are highly expressed in embryonal carcinoma (EC). In contrast to OCT4 and NANOG, SOX2 has not been demonstrated in the early human germ cell lineage or carcinoma in situ (CIS), the precursor for testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs). Here, we have analysed SOX2 expression in CIS and overt TGCTs, as well as normal second and third trimester fetal, prepubertal and adult testes by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry using three different antibodies. In contrast to earlier studies, we detected SOX2 mRNA in most CIS cells. We also detected speckled nuclear SOX2 immunoreactivity in CIS cells with one primary antibody, which was not apparent with other primary antibodies. The results demonstrate SOX2 gene expression in CIS for the first time and raise the possibility of post-transcriptional regulation, most likely sumoylation as a mechanism for limiting SOX2 action in these cells.

Keywords:

carcinoma in situ (CIS), intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN), testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT), Sertoli cell, pluripotency

*Corresponding author e-mail: erm@rh.regionh.dk