Gene expression patterns in human embryonic stem cells and human pluripotent germ cell tumors
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Remarkably little is known about the transcriptional profiles of human embryonic stem (ES) cells or the molecular mechanisms that underlie their pluripotency. To identify commonalties among the transcriptional profiles of different human pluripotent cells and to search for clues into the genesis of human germ cell tumors, we compared the expression profiles of human ES cell lines, human germ cell tumor cell lines and tumor samples, somatic cell lines, and testicular tissue samples by using cDNA microarray analysis. Hierarchical cluster analysis of gene expression profiles showed that the five independent human ES cell lines clustered tightly together, reflecting highly similar expression profiles. The gene expression patterns of human ES cell lines showed many similarities with the human embryonal carcinoma cell samples and more distantly with the seminoma samples. We identified 895 genes that were expressed at significantly greater levels in human ES and embryonal carcinoma cell lines than in control samples. These genes are candidates for involvement in the maintenance of a pluripotent, undifferentiated phenotype.
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