Seventy testicular germ cell tumors were analyzed at the DNA and RNA levels for the c-kit, hst-1, and int-2 oncogenes using Northern and Southern blot analyses, respectively. There were significant differences in oncogene expression between seminomas and nonseminomas with c-kit being expressed in 24 of 30 (80%) seminomas but in only 3 of 40 (7%) nonseminomatous tumors (P = 0.0001, x2 test) and hst-1 being expressed in 24 of 38 (63%) nonseminomas but only 1 of 24 (4%) of seminomas (P= 0.0001, x2 test), demonstrating an inverse relationship in the expression pattern of these 2 oncogenes in human testicular germ cell tumors. A significant association between tumor stage and hst-1 expression in the nonseminoma group was found (P = 0.0002, x2 test). No gross alterations in the c-kit, hst-1, and int-2 loci were found at the DNA level and no int-2 mRNA expression was detected in any of the germ cell tumors examined.

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This work was supported by USPHS Grant CA 36827. T.S. is supported by grants from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (312 402 698 9) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Str. 270/2-1). D.J.S. is supported by American Cancer Society Grant FRA 323.

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