Premeiotic origin of teratomas: Is meiosis required for differentiation into mature tissues?

Zhengping Zhuang, Mojgan Devouassoux-Shisheboran, Irina A. Lubensky, Fattaneh Tavassoli, Alexander O. Vortmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


By virtue of meiotic cell division, primordial germ cells with heterozygous alleles develop into postmeiotic germ cells with homozygous alleles. Female and male germ cells may develop tumors - so-called teratomas - with a unique coexistence of a variety of histological elements from all three embryonic germ layers.1,2 In particular, mature teratomas consist exclusively of developmentally mature tissues whereas immature teratomas contain variable amounts of mature and immature tissues. In this study, we report genetic analysis of individual tissue components from mature and immature teratomas. The majority of mature teratomas showed consistent and concordant homozygous alleles in all selectively procured tissue components. In a small subset of mature teratomas, we observed discordant homozygous alleles. In contrast, immature teratomatous tissue revealed a heterozygous genotype. Remarkably, mature tissue components within immature teratoma revealed homozygosity. The findings suggest that immature teratomas and at least a subset of mature teratomas may originate from premeiotic cells, and implicate that meiosis may be required for differentiation into mature tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1687
Number of pages5
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Germ cell
  • Heterozygosity
  • Homozygosity
  • Immature teratoma
  • Meiosis
  • Teratoma
  • Tissue differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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