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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Oncology - Physiology - Science Policy

Temporal Dissection of K-rasG12D Mutant In Vitro and In Vivo Using a Regulatable K-rasG12D Mouse Allele
Published: Friday, May 11, 2012
Author: Zuoyun Wang et al.

by Zuoyun Wang, Yan Feng, Nabeel Bardessy, Kwok-Kin Wong, Xin-Yuan Liu, Hongbin Ji

Animal models which allow the temporal regulation of gene activities are valuable for dissecting gene function in tumorigenesis. Here we have constructed a conditional inducible estrogen receptor-K-rasG12D (ER-K-rasG12D) knock-in mice allele that allows us to temporally switch on or off the activity of K-ras oncogenic mutant through tamoxifen administration. In vitro studies using mice embryonic fibroblast (MEF) showed that a dose of tamoxifen at 0.05 µM works optimally for activation of ER-K-rasG12D independent of the gender status. Furthermore, tamoxifen-inducible activation of K-rasG12D promotes cell proliferation, anchor-independent growth, transformation as well as invasion, potentially via activation of downstream MAPK pathway and cell cycle progression. Continuous activation of K-rasG12D in vivo by tamoxifen treatment is sufficient to drive the neoplastic transformation of normal lung epithelial cells in mice. Tamoxifen withdrawal after the tumor formation results in apoptosis and tumor regression in mouse lungs. Taken together, these data have convincingly demonstrated that K-ras mutant is essential for neoplastic transformation and this animal model may provide an ideal platform for further detailed characterization of the role of K-ras oncogenic mutant during different stages of lung tumorigenesis.
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