A genetically engineered mouse model developing rapid progressive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

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The premalignant lesions of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), have a high frequency of mutations in Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (KRAS), and genetic alterations in the retinoblastoma (Rb)–E2 factor (E2F) and transformed 3T3 cell double minute 2 (MDM2)–p53 pathways accelerate development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The viral oncoprotein SV40 large T antigen (TAg) can inhibit the effects of the Rb family of molecules and of p53 on these pathways, and targeted expression of TAg in mouse pancreas is associated with the development of endocrine or acinar cell tumours. In this study, to determine whether the viral oncoprotein promotes pancreatic duct carcinogenesis initiated by oncogenic KRAS, we generated mice expressing temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen (tsTAg) on pancreatic epithelial cells in the presence or absence of KrasG12D. Mice with pancreas-specific tsTAg expression developed acinar cell dysplasia by 22 weeks without PanIN formation, while mice expressing both tsTAg and KrasG12D developed highly aggressive adenocarcinoma with a ductal cell phenotype within a short period, and died within 3 weeks. The tumours resembled human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) at the histological level, and oncogenic Kras and tsTAg synergistically activated E2f and Sre transcription in established PDAC cell lines. These results suggest that tsTAg synergistically promotes KrasG12D-associated PDAC formation, and our study identifies a new mouse model of PDAC that may allow a better understanding of the mechanism of carcinogenesis in pancreatic carcinoma, which shows a catastrophic clinical course. Copyright © 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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