GOLPH2 expression may serve as diagnostic marker in seminomas.


GOLPH2 (Golgi phosphoprotein 2) is a novel Golgi membrane protein. Despite its unknown physiologic function, however, it has been proposed as a biomarker for hepatocellular and prostate carcinoma due to its upregulation in those cancer entities. Whether the overexpression of GOLPH2 is tumour specific or a generic parameter of malignancy and whether this finding is true for additional carcinomas has not been determined. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the expression pattern of GOLPH2 in testicular seminomas, the most common histologic subtype of testicular neoplasm.

GOLPH2 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 69 testicular seminomas and compared to the expression rates in matching normal testicular tissue and intratubular germ cell neoplasia of unclassified type (IGCNU). In addition, a subset of Leydig cell tumours was analyzed accordingly.

GOLPH2 was consistently overexpressed (89.9%) in seminomas. Matching non-neoplastic tissue showed weak or negative staining. The observed differences between non-neoplastic and neoplastic tissue were statistically highly significant (p < 0.001). There were no significant associations with tumour status. Interestingly, GOLPH2 was also highly expressed in the intertubular Leydig cells as well as in Leydig cell tumours.

GOLPH2 protein is highly expressed in seminomas and in Leydig cell tumours. This study fosters the association of GOLPH2 with malignant neoplastic processes. The staining pattern is easily assessable and consistent which is a favourable property especially in clinical settings. GOLPH2 could be a novel immunohistochemical marker for the assessment of testicular neoplasms, especially against the background that in analogy to hepatocellular carcinomas complementary GOLPH2 serum levels might be helpful in detecting metastases or recurrent tumour. Therefore serum studies and analyses of GOLPH2 expression in non-seminomatous germ cell tumours are strongly warranted.


One biomarker makes reference to this publication:

  • Dietel M
  • Fritzsche FR
  • Kristiansen G
  • Oelrich B
  • Riener MO
PubMed ID
Appears In
BMC Urol, 2010, 10