The downside of ‘inappropriate messaging’: new insight into the development of testicular germ cell tumours in young men?

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How invasive testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) develop from precursor carcinomain situ/intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (CIS/IGCNU) cells, and only after puberty, is unknown. In the current issue ofThe Journal of Pathology,Jφrgensen and colleagues have compared the protein expression profile of CIS before and after puberty and in pre-invasive versus invasive TGCT and show that the mitosis–meiosis controller DMRT1 switches off in CIS cells postpubertally and is associated with invasiveness. They also show that CIS cells express a ‘confusing’ mix of pro- and anti-meiotic proteins; this may predispose CIS cells to accumulate extra chromosomal material which ultimately leads to tumourigenesis.

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