N- and KRAS mutations in primary testicular germ cell tumors: incidence and possible biological implications

R A Olie, L H Looijenga, L Boerrigter, B Top, S Rodenhuis, A Langeveld, M P Mulder, J W Oosterhuis

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, conflicting results have been reported on the incidence of RAS mutations in primary testicular germ cell tumors of adults (TGCTs). In four studies a low incidence of mutations (less than 15%) in a variety of TGCTs or derived cell lines was found, whereas in two other studies a high incidence of N- or KRAS mutations (over 40%) was shown. A total of 62 testicular seminomas (SE) and 34 nonseminomatous TGCTs (NS) were studied thus far. The largest series consisted of 42 TGCTs, studied on paraffin embedded tissue. We present the results of analysis for the presence of N- and KRAS mutations, in codons 12, 13, and 61, in snap frozen samples of 100 primary TGCTs, comprising 40 SE and 60 NS. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and allele specific oligonucleotide hybridization (ASO), mutations were found in five SE (three in NRAS and two in KRAS, all codon 12), and in one NS (KRAS, codon 12). To exclude underestimation of the incidence of RAS mutations in TGCTs due to the presence of an excess of wild type alleles in the analyzed sample, a PCR technique preferentially amplifying KRAS alleles with a mutation in codon 12 was applied to all SE. This approach, allowing a 250 times more sensitive assay, resulted in the detection of only one additional SE with a mutation. Based on a critical analysis of published data and on our results from the largest series of frozen samples investigated thus far, we conclude that N- or KRAS mutations are rare and apparently not essential for initiation or progression of TGCTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-6
Number of pages7
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Alleles
  • DNA, Neoplasm/analysis
  • Genes, ras/genetics
  • Germinoma/genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Testicular Neoplasms/genetics


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