CDKN2B deletion is essential for pancreatic cancer development instead of unmeaningful co-deletion due to juxtaposition to CDKN2A

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Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest malignancies; however, the genetic events that lead to pancreatic carcinogenesis in adults remain unclear. In vivo models in which these genetic alterations occur in adult animals may more accurately reflect the features of human cancer. In this study, we demonstrate that inactivation of Cdkn2b (p15ink4b) is necessary for induction of pancreatic cancer by oncogenic KRASG12D expression and inactivation of Tp53 and Cdkn2a in adult mouse pancreatic ductal cells (P60 or older). KRASG12D overexpression in these cells activated transforming growth factor-β signaling and expression of CDKN2B, which, along with CDKN2A, led to cellular senescence and protected cells from KRAS-mediated transformation via inhibition of retinoblastoma phosphorylation. These results show a critical role of CDKN2B inactivation in pancreatic carcinogenesis, and provide a useful adult animal model by genetic engineering via lentiviral delivery.

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