Transgenic mice as a means to study synergism between oncogenes.


Transgenic mice present a useful model to study the mechanisms underlying malignant transformation. (i) They can provide information on the oncogenic potential of genes as a function of tissue context. (ii) They allow the analysis of the primary effects of an oncogene on proliferation and differentiation before secondary mutations have occurred. (iii) Crossings between transgenic mice carrying different oncogenes can reveal their capacity to cooperate in transformation. (iv) Transgenic mice bearing a particular oncogene can be used to search for (new) (anti)oncogenes that synergize with the transgene. The non-acute transforming murine leukemia viruses (MuLV) appear very useful for this purpose. This has become clear from our studies with pim-I and c-myc transgenic mice. MuLV dramatically accelerates T-cell lymphomagenesis in transgenic mice overexpressing the pim-I oncogene in their lymphoid compartment. In all tumors induced by MuLV in pim-I transgenic mice, either the c-myc or the N-myc gene was activated by proviral insertion. Similarly, MuLV infection of transgenic mice overexpressing the c-myc gene in their B-cell compartment resulted in the acceleration of pre-B-cell lymphomagenesis. A significant fraction of the resulting pre-B-cell tumors showed proviral activation of pim-I. This shows that pim-I and myc synergize efficiently in both B- and T-cell lymphomagenesis. pim-I transgenic mice are also highly sensitive to tumor induction by N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) and therefore represent an excellent in vivo model system to test the oncogenic potential of chemical compounds.

More about this publication

International journal of cancer. Supplement = Journal international du cancer. Supplement
  • Volume 4
  • Pages 22-5
  • Publication date 01-01-1989

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