RBM (RNA-binding motif) protein is a marker of male germ cells. This protein is encoded by the Azoospermia factor region-b (AZF-b) of the human Y chromosome and is expressed exclusively in the male germ cell line, that is, spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and round spermatids. The authors analyzed the expression of the RBM gene in germ cell tumors and in the seminiferous tubules in the vicinity of these tumors to identify the presence of IGCN. Sections from testicular germ cell tumors of 21 patients were stained with anti-RBM antibody by using an immunohistochemical method. Distal tubules showing spermatogenesis were immunopositive for RBM protein. All of the germ cell tumors studied were completely immunonegative for RBM. Defined areas of IGCN also showed an absence of RBM expression. Tubules with spermatocyte-like cells, which were expected to express RBM, did not express this protein. This result enabled the identification of tubules as being IGCN. RBM is a novel marker consistently expressed in normal male germ cells but not in malignant germ cell tumors or IGCN. Thus, the absence of RBM expression in germ cells provides a new diagnostic tool of preinvasive malignancy of the testis. (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.
- Germ cell neoplasia
- Immunohistochemical marker