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

Neil Hanley, Si B. Sonne, Rebecca M. Perrett, John E. Nielsen, Melissa A. Baxter, David M. Kristensen, Henrik Leffers, Neil A. Hanley, Ewa Rajpert-de-Meyts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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. © 2009 UBC Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)755-760
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Biology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Carcinoma in situ (CIS)
    • Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN)
    • Pluripotency
    • Sertoli cell
    • Testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT)


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