is expressed in both normal and malignant spermatogenic cells and its overexpression is correlated to seminoma development.
Jun 5, 2002
The piwi genes are highly conserved and play essential roles in stem cell self-renewal, gametogenesis and RNA interference. In 6 June Oncogene, Qiao and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA, show that hiwi — a human member of the piwi gene family — is expressed in both normal and malignant spermatogenic cells and its overexpression is correlated to the development of seminoma (Oncogene 2002, 21:3988-3999).
Qiao et al. observed that hiwi maps to band 12q24.33 on the long arm of chromosome 12, a region linked to the development of testicular germ cell tumors. hiwi encodes a highly basic 861-amino-acid protein and its expression was seen in normal spermatocytes and round spermatids during spermatogenesis.
In addition, they observed enhanced expression of hiwi in samples of testicular seminomas — tumors originating from embryonic germ cells with retention of germ cell phenotype — but not in...
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