Mice deleted for cell division cycle 73 gene develop parathyroid and uterine tumours: model for the hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumour syndrome

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The hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumour (HPT-JT) syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by occurrence of parathyroid tumours, often atypical adenomas and carcinomas, ossifying jaw fibromas, renal tumours and uterine benign and malignant neoplasms. HPT-JT is caused by mutations of the cell division cycle 73 (CDC73) gene, located on chromosome 1q31.2 and encodes a 531 amino acid protein, parafibromin. To facilitate in vivo studies of Cdc73 in tumourigenesis we generated conventional (Cdc73+/-) and conditional parathyroid-specific (Cdc73+/L/PTH-Cre and Cdc73L/L/PTH-Cre) mouse models. Mice were aged to 18–21 months and studied for survival, tumour development and proliferation, and serum biochemistry, and compared to age-matched wild-type (Cdc73+/+ and Cdc73+/+/PTH-Cre) littermates. Survival of Cdc73+/- mice, when compared to Cdc73+/+ mice was reduced (Cdc73+/- = 80%; Cdc73+/+ = 90% at 18 months of age, P<0.05). Cdc73+/-, Cdc73+/L/PTH-Cre and Cdc73L/L/PTH-Cre mice developed parathyroid tumours, which had nuclear pleomorphism, fibrous septation and increased galectin-3 expression, consistent with atypical parathyroid adenomas, from 9 months of age. Parathyroid tumours in Cdc73+/-, Cdc73+/L/PTH-Cre and Cdc73L/L/PTH-Cre mice had significantly increased proliferation, with rates >fourfold higher than that in parathyroid glands of wild-type littermates (P<0.0001). Cdc73+/-, Cdc73+/L/PTH-Cre and Cdc73L/L/PTH-Cre mice had higher mean serum calcium concentrations than wild-type littermates, and Cdc73+/- mice also had increased mean serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. Parathyroid tumour development, and elevations in serum calcium and PTH, were similar in males and females. Cdc73+/- mice did not develop bone or renal tumours but female Cdc73+/- mice, at 18 months of age, had uterine neoplasms comprising squamous metaplasia, adenofibroma and adenomyoma. Uterine neoplasms, myometria and jaw bones of Cdc73+/- mice had increased proliferation rates that were 2-fold higher than in Cdc73+/+ mice (P<0.05). Thus, our studies, which have established mouse models for parathyroid tumours and uterine neoplasms that develop in the HPT-JT syndrome, provide in vivo models for future studies of these tumours.

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