Insertional mutagenesis identifies a member of the Wnt gene family as a candidate oncogene in the mammary epithelium of int-2/Fgf-3 transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice harboring the int-2/Fgf-3 protooncogene under transcriptional control of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter/enhancer exhibit a dramatic, benign hyperplasia of the mammary gland. In one int-2 transgenic line (TG.NX), this growth disturbance is evoked by pregnancy and regresses after parturition. Regression of hyperplastic mammary epithelium is less complete after successive pregnancies, and, within 10 months, most TG.NX mice stochastically develop mammary carcinomas that are transplantable in virgin, syngeneic mice. To identify genes that cooperate with int-2 in cell transformation, we infected TG.NX transgenic mice with MMTV. In a cohort of 14 animals, most mammary tumors represented clonal or oligoclonal outgrowths harboring one to five proviral MMTV integrants. Eight of 35 (23%) MMTV+ tumors exhibited proviral insertion at the Wnt-1 locus. No provirus was detected at the int-2, int-3, or Wnt-3 loci. By Southern analysis, two tumors had proviral insertions at the same genomic location, which was mapped to chromosome 15. Cloning of this int locus identified an additional member of the Wnt gene family. The predicted 389-amino acid protein is most closely related to zebrafish Wnt-10a (58% amino acid identity over 362 residues) and, based on homology analysis, was designated Wnt-10b. This newly discovered Wnt family member was expressed in the embryo and mammary gland of virgin but not pregnant mice and represents a candidate collaborating oncogene of int-2/Fgf-3 in the mammary epithelium.
Project description:The inbred mouse strain RIII has long been known for shedding large amounts of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) particles in milk and for the development of hormone-dependent early mammary tumors at a very high incidence (>90%). We have established one RIII subline (RIII/Sa) that shows a pattern of virus expression and tumor incidence similar to that in RIII mice. In the present study, we analyzed the milk and mammary tumors of RIII/Sa mice for virus characterization by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) cloning and sequencing of the open reading frame (ORF) of the MMTV long terminal repeats (LTRs). Our results show that these mice express a mixture of at least three different MMTV strains, two of which, designated here as RIII/Sa MMTV-1 and RIII/Sa MMTV-2, are exogenous. The third virus, RIII/Sa MMTV-3, appears to carry the signature of an endogenous provirus, Mtv-17. Similar studies done with the milk and mammary glands of another subline, RIIIS/J, revealed that they do not express MMTV in their milk. The RIII/Sa and RIIIS/J mice also exhibited differences in their endogenous proviral contents. Twelve spontaneously developed mammary tumors of RIII/Sa mice were examined for possible Wnt-1 and/or int-2/Fgf3 mutations that are usually found to occur in most mouse mammary tumors as a consequence of MMTV proviral integration. This work led to the isolation of one MMTV-Wnt-1 junction fragment and one MMTV-int-2/Fgf3 junction fragment from 2 of the 12 tumors. Further analyses showed that both junction fragments contained the RIII/Sa MMTV-2-specific LTR ORF, indicating that this virus was involved in the development of both tumors. Whether RIII/Sa MMTV-1 and/or RIII/Sa MMTV-3 plays any role in mammary tumor development in RIII/Sa mice remains to be established. Overall, the present study demonstrates, to our surprise, that (i) RIII/Sa mice express, unlike other native mouse strains, three strains of MMTVs; and (ii) the virions are completely different from the virus expressed by another subline of RIII mice, the BR6 mice.
Project description:We have used mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) infection of Wnt-1 transgenic mice to accelerate mammary tumorigenesis and to molecularly tag insertionally activated proto-oncogenes that cooperate oncogenically with Wnt-1 (G. M. Shackleford, C. A. MacArthur, H. C. Kwan, and H. E. Varmus, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:740-744, 1993). Here we report the identification and characterization of a 31-kb genomic locus that contains clonal MMTV integrations in 8 of 80 mammary tumors from MMTV-infected Wnt-1 transgenic mice. Two genes were identified within this locus, one of which was transcriptionally activated by MMTV insertions. This activated gene is identical to androgen-induced growth factor (AIGF/Fgf-8) (A. Tanaka, K. Miyamoto, N. Minamino, M. Takeda, B. Sato, H. Matsuo, and K. Matsumoto, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:8928-8932, 1992), the eighth member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. Transcriptional activation of Fgf-8 was found in all tumors with MMTV insertions in this locus. Fgf-8 mRNA was absent in normal mammary glands and was detected only in adult testis and ovary and in midgestational embryos. The sequences of Fgf-8 genomic and cDNA clones revealed five coding exons, in contrast to the three coding exons found in other FGF genes. cDNAs encoding three isoforms of the FGF-8 protein were isolated. The three corresponding mRNAs resulted from the alternative use of two 5' splice sites and two 3' splice sites for the second and third exons, respectively. These results implicate Fgf-8 as the third FGF gene found to cooperate with Wnt-1 in MMTV-induced murine mammary tumorigenesis, suggesting that FGFs and Wnts are strong collaborators in this process.
Project description:WNT/?-catenin signaling plays pivotal roles in mammary development and tumorigenesis; and aberrant activation of this pathway is frequently observed in human breast cancer, correlating with poor outcome. However, the mechanisms underlying WNT-driven mammary tumorigenesis remain incompletely understood. Here, we used mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Wnt1 transgenic mice, which develop aggressive mammary adenocarcinomas, to examine whether Limb-Bud-and-Heart (LBH) - a WNT/?-catenin target transcription co-factor overexpressed in human triple-negative breast cancers with WNT pathway hyperactivation, contributes to WNT-induced tumorigenesis. We found LBH is specifically overexpressed in basal epithelial tumor cells of MMTV-Wnt1 mammary tumors reminiscent of its basal cell-restricted expression in the normal postnatal mammary gland. To determine the role of LBH in mammary tumorigenesis, we crossed MMTV-Wnt1 mice with basal epithelial-specific Keratin 14/K14-Cre;LbhloxP knockout mice. Mammary glands from virgin LBH-deficient MMTV-Wnt1 mice exhibited reduced hyperplasia, cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Importantly, LBH inactivation in mammary epithelium significantly delayed tumor onset in MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice, with a median tumor-free survival of 32.5 weeks compared to 22.5 weeks in control LBH wild type MMTV-Wnt1 mice (p?<?0.05). This data provides the first evidence that LBH plays an essential role in WNT-induced mammary tumorigenesis by promoting hyperplastic growth and tumor formation.
Project description:In human breast cancer normal mammary cells typically develop into hyperplasia, ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive cancer, and metastasis. The changes in gene expression associated with this stepwise progression are unclear. Mice transgenic for mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Wnt-1 exhibit discrete steps of mammary tumorigenesis, including hyperplasia, invasive ductal carcinoma, and distant metastasis. These mice might therefore be useful models for discovering changes in gene expression during cancer development.We used cDNA microarrays to determine the expression profiles of five normal mammary glands, seven hyperplastic mammary glands and 23 mammary tumors from MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mice, and 12 mammary tumors from MMTV-Neu transgenic mice. Adipose tissues were used to control for fat cells in the vicinity of the mammary glands. In these analyses, we found that the progression of normal virgin mammary glands to hyperplastic tissues and to mammary tumors is accompanied by differences in the expression of several hundred genes at each step. Some of these differences appear to be unique to the effects of Wnt signaling; others seem to be common to tumors induced by both Neu and Wnt-1 oncogenes.We described gene-expression patterns associated with breast-cancer development in mice, and identified genes that may be significant targets for oncogenic events. The expression data developed provide a resource for illuminating the molecular mechanisms involved in breast cancer development, especially through the identification of genes that are critical in cancer initiation and progression.
Project description:Gene expression profiling of samples from normal virgin mammary glands, hyperplastic mammary glands, mamary tumors, and lung metastases from MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic (TG) mice, and mammary tumors and lung metastases from MMTV-Neu trangenic (TG) mice Keywords: Array analysis, multi-step tumorigenesis, metastasis, MMTV-Wnt-1 trangenic mice, MMTV-Neu transgenic mice Overall design: 1. We compared expression prifiles among 5 normal virgin mammary glands, 7 hyperplastic mammary glands and 23 mammary tumors from MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mice, and 12 mammary tumors from MMTV-Neu transgenic mice. 2. We compared expression profiles between 23 mammary tumors and 10 lung metastases from MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mice and 12 mammary tumors and 5 lung metastases from MMTV-Neu transgenic mice. The experiments for the above comparisons were performed in the same time frame using a single array print and the same batch of reference RNA.
Project description:We have isolated a common insertion site, Wnt-3, for proviruses of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). Of mammary tumors induced by the GR variant of MMTV, 5% contains a provirus at Wnt-3, which is located on mouse chromosome 11. The gene is transcribed into a 3.8-kilobase (kb) mRNA in tumors with nearby proviral insertions but not in tumors with proviruses at other loci or in most adult tissues. Normal expression of Wnt-3 is detected in mouse embryos (with a peak around day 12 of gestation) and at low levels in adult brain. The transcriptional unit of the Wnt-3 gene spans approximately 55 kb, with a first intron of 36 kb. The deduced amino acid sequence of the Wnt-3 protein is 47% identical to the int-1/Wnt-1 gene product.
Project description:Although Wnt signaling activation is frequently observed in human breast cancer, mutations in genes encoding intracellular components of the Wnt signaling pathway are rare. We found that the expression of Wnt signaling co-receptor, LRP6, is upregulated in a subset of human breast cancer tissues and cell lines. To examine whether the overexpression of LRP6 in mammary epithelial cells is sufficient to activate Wnt signaling and promote cell proliferation, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing LRP6 in mammary epithelial cells driven by the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter. We found that mammary glands from MMTV-LRP6 mice exhibit significant Wnt activation evidenced by the translocation of beta-catenin from membrane to cytoplasmic/nuclear fractions. The expression of several Wnt target genes including Axin2, Cyclin D1 and c-Myc was also increased in MMTV-LRP6 mice. More importantly, mammary glands from virgin MMTV-LRP6 mice exhibit significant hyperplasia, a precursor to breast cancer, when compared with wild-type littermate controls. Several matrix metalloproteinases are upregulated in MMTV-LRP6 mice that could contribute to the hyperplasia phenotype. Our results suggest that Wnt signaling activation at the cell-surface receptor level can contribute to breast cancer tumorigenesis.
Project description:We previously showed that a mammary-specific dominant-negative p53 transgene (WAP-p53(172H)) could accelerate ErbB2-induced mammary tumorigenesis in mice, but was not tumorigenic on its own. To identify other genes that cooperate with WAP-p53(172H) in tumorigenesis, we performed mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) proviral mutagenesis. We derived F1, N2, and N4/N5 mice from p53(172H) transgenic FVB mice backcrossed onto MMTV+ C3H/He mice. Results show the latency of MMTV tumorigenesis is correlated with FVB contribution. F1 tumors had the shortest latency (217 days), had a higher rate of metastasis, and were less differentiated than the N2 and N4/N5 tumors. The latency was 269 days in N2 mice, and lengthened to 346 days in N4/N5 mice. p53(172H) significantly accelerated MMTV tumorigenesis only in N2 mice, indicating cooperativity between p53(172H) and MMTV in this cohort. To identify genes that may be causally involved in MMTV-induced mammary tumorigenesis, we identified 60 sites of proviral insertion in the N2 tumors. Among the insertions in p53(172H) transgenic tumors were 10 genes not previously found as sites of MMTV insertion including genes involved in signaling (Pdgfra, Pde1b, Cnk1), cell adhesion (Cd44), angiogenesis (Galgt1), and transcriptional regulation (Olig1, Olig2, and Uncx4.1). These may represent cellular functions that are likely not deregulated by mutation in p53.
Project description: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.
Project description:BACKGROUND: MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice develop mammary hyperplasia early in development, followed by the appearance of solitary mammary tumors with a high proportion of cells expressing early lineage markers and many myoepithelial cells. The occurrence of tumors is accelerated in experiments that activate FGF proto-oncogenes or remove the tumor suppressor genes Pten or P53, implying that secondary oncogenic events are required for progression from mammary hyperplasia to carcinoma. It is not known, however, which oncogenic pathways contribute to Wnt1-induced tumorigenesis - further experimental manipulation of these mice is needed. Secondary events also appear to be required for mammary tumorigenesis in MMTV-Neu transgenic mice because the transgene in the tumors usually contains an acquired mutation that activates the Neu protein-tyrosine kinase. METHODS: cDNA or DNA from the mammary glands and mammary tumors from MMTV-Wnt1, MMTV-Wnt1/p53-/-, MMTV-Neu transgenic mice, and newly generated MMTV-Wnt1/MMTV-Neu bitransgenic mice, was sequenced to seek activating mutations in H-Ras, K-Ras, and N-Ras genes, or in the MMTV-Neu transgene. In addition, tumors from bitransgenic animals were examined to determine the cellular phenotype. RESULTS: We found activating mutations at codons 12, 13, and 61 of H-Ras in just over half of the mammary tumors in MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice, and we confirmed the high frequency of activating mutations of Neu in tumors in MMTV-Neu transgenic mice. Tumors appeared earlier in bitransgenic MMTV-Wnt1/MMTV-Neu mice, but no Ras or MMTV-Neu mutations were found in these tumors, which were phenotypically similar to those arising in MMTV-Wnt1 mice. In addition, no Ras mutations were found in the mammary tumors that arise in MMTV-Wnt1 transgenic mice lacking an intact P53 gene. CONCLUSIONS: Tumorigenic properties of cells undergoing functionally significant secondary mutations in H-Ras or the MMTV-Neu transgene allow selection of those cells in MMTV-Wnt1 and MMTV-Neu transgenic mice, respectively. Alternative sources of oncogenic potential, such as a second transgenic oncogene or deficiency of a tumor suppressor gene, can obviate the selective power of those secondary mutations. These observations are consistent with the notion that somatic evolution of mouse mammary tumors is influenced by the specific nature of the inherited cancer-promoting genotype.