Critical role of CCDC6 in the neoplastic growth of testicular germ cell tumors

Stefania Staibano, Gennaro Ilardi, Vincenza Leone, Chiara Luise, Francesco Merolla, Francesco Esposito, Francesco Morra, Maria Siano, Renato Franco, Alfredo Fusco, Paolo Chieffi, Angela Celetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: DNA damage response has been clearly described as an anti-cancer barrier in early human tumorigenesis. Moreover, interestingly, testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) have been reported to lack the DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathway activation. CCDC6 is a pro-apoptotic phosphoprotein substrate of the kinase ataxia telangectasia mutated (ATM) able to sustain DNA damage checkpoint in response to genotoxic stress and is commonly rearranged in malignancies upon fusion with different partners. In our study we sought to determine whether CCDC6 could have a role in the patho-genesis of testicular germ cell tumors. Methods: To achieve this aim, analysis for CCDC6 expression has been evaluated on serial sections of the mouse testis by immunohistochemistry and on separate populations of murine testicular cells by western blot. Next, the resistance to DNA damage-induced apoptosis and the production of reactive oxygen species has been investigated in GC1 cells, derived from immortalized type B murine germ cells, following CCDC6 silencing. Finally, the CCDC6 expression in normal human testicular cells, in Intratubular Germ Cell Neoplasia Unclassified (IGCNU), in a large series of male germ cell tumours and in the unique human seminoma TCam2 cell line has been evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by Western Blot analyses. Results: The analysis of the CCDC6 expression revealed its presence in Sertoli cells and in spermatogonial cells. CCDC6 loss was the most consistent feature among the primary tumours and TCam2 cells. Interestingly, following treatment with low doses of H2O2, the silencing of CCDC6 in GC1 cells caused a decrease in the oxidized form of cytochrome c and low detection of Bad, PARP-1 and Caspase 3 proteins. Moreover, in the silenced cells, upon oxidative damage, the cell viability was protected, the γH2AX activation was impaired and the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) release was decreased. Conclusions: Therefore, our results suggest that the loss of CCDC6 could aid the spermatogonial cells to be part of a pro-survival pathway that helps to evade the toxic effects of endogenous oxidants and contributes to testicular neoplastic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number433
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2013


  • CCDC6
  • DNA damage response
  • GC-1
  • Oxidative DNA damage
  • ROS
  • T-CAM2
  • Testicular germ cells tumours
  • TMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Critical role of CCDC6 in the neoplastic growth of testicular germ cell tumors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this