Research Papers:

Genes affected by mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) proviral insertions in mouse mammary tumors are deregulated or mutated in primary human mammary tumors.

Robert Callahan _, Uma Mudunuri, Sharon Bargo, Ahmed Raafat, David McCurdy, Corinne Boulanger, William Lowther, Robert Stephens, Brian T. Luke, Claudia Stewart, Xiaolin Wu, David Munroe and Gilbert H. Smith

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Oncotarget. 2012; 3:1320-1334. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.682

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Robert Callahan1, Uma Mudunuri2, Sharon Bargo1, Ahmed Raafat1, David McCurdy1, Corinne Boulanger1, William Lowther1, Robert Stephens2, Brian T. Luke2, Claudia Stewart2,3, Xiaolin Wu2,3, David Munroe2,3 and Gilbert H. Smith1.

1 Cell and Cancer Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute; Bethesda, MD, USA

2 Advanced Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD, USA

3 Laboratory of Molecular Technology, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD, USA


Robert Callahan, email:

Keywords: mouse mammary tumor virus, premalignant lesions, mammary tumors, genes, human breast carcinomas, metastases

Received: September 28, 2012, Accepted: October 16, 2012, Published: October 17, 2012


The accumulation of mutations is a contributing factor in the initiation of premalignant mammary lesions and their progression to malignancy and metastasis. We have used a mouse model in which the carcinogen is the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) which induces clonal premalignant mammary lesions and malignant mammary tumors by insertional mutagenesis. Identification of the genes and signaling pathways affected in MMTV-induced mouse mammary lesions provides a rationale for determining whether genetic alteration of the human orthologues of these genes/pathways may contribute to human breast carcinogenesis. A high-throughput platform for inverse PCR to identify MMTV-host junction fragments and their nucleotide sequences in a large panel of MMTV-induced lesions was developed. Validation of the genes affected by MMTV-insertion was carried out by microarray analysis. Common integration site (CIS) means that the gene was altered by an MMTV proviral insertion in at least two independent lesions arising in different hosts. Three of the new genes identified as CIS for MMTV were assayed for their capability to confer on HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells the ability for invasion, anchorage independent growth and tumor development in nude mice. Analysis of MMTV induced mammary premalignant hyperplastic outgrowth (HOG) lines and mammary tumors led to the identification of CIS restricted to 35 loci. Within these loci members of the Wnt, Fgf and Rspo gene families plus two linked genes (Npm3 and Ddn) were frequently activated in tumors induced by MMTV. A second group of 15 CIS occur at a low frequency (2-5 observations) in mammary HOGs or tumors. In this latter group the expression of either Phf19 or Sdc2 was shown to increase HC11 cells invasion capability. Foxl1 expression conferred on HC11 cells the capability for anchorage-independent colony formation in soft agar and tumor development in nude mice. The published transcriptome and nucleotide sequence analysis of gene expression in primary human breast tumors was interrogated. Twenty of the human orthologues of MMTV CIS associated genes are deregulated and/or mutated in human breast tumors.

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