Expression of teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor-1 (TDGF-1) in testis germ cell tumors and its effects on growth and differentiation of embryonal carcinoma cell line NTERA2/D1

Abstract

The teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor-1 (TDGF-1) gene codes for a 188-aminoacid glycoprotein that shares structural homology with the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of growth factors. TDGF-1 is highly expressed in the undifferentiated embryonal carcinoma stem cell line NTERA2 clone D1 (NT2/D1) and its expression is downregulated in response to differentiating agents such as retinoic acid (RA) and hexamethylen-bisacetamide (HMBA). To assess the role of TDGF-1 in the onset and/or progression of human germ cell tumors, we analysed TDGF-1 expression by Northern blot and immunostaining in a panel of 59 human germ cell tumors of different histological origins. We show that TDGF-1 expression is markedly elevated in a subset of human testicular germ cell tumors as compared to normal testes. TDGF-1 overexpression occurs in about 100% of tumors with non-seminomatous phenotype, such as embryonal carcinomas and malignant undifferentiated teratocarcinomas. To address the questions of how TDGF-1 (previously called CRIPTO) may affect the growth and/or the differentiation of embryonal carcinoma cells, we have characterized the effects of exogenous recombinant TDGF-1 protein on the proliferation rate and differentiation potential of NT2/D1. Exogenous TDGF-1 protein stimulated DNA synthesis and cell proliferation in both undifferentiated and differentiated NT2/D1 cells. However, TDGF-1 protein treatment was unable to block differentiation induced by both RA and HMBA. These results suggest that TDGF-1 growth factor may represent an autocrine growth factor that may be involved in the process of development of testicular neoplasms.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Maria Graziella Persico.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Baldassarre, G., Romano, A., Armenante, F. et al. Expression of teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor-1 (TDGF-1) in testis germ cell tumors and its effects on growth and differentiation of embryonal carcinoma cell line NTERA2/D1. Oncogene 15, 927–936 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1201260

Download citation

Keywords

  • TDGF-1
  • teratocarcinoma
  • seminoma
  • cell differentiation

Further reading

Search

Quick links