The Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene is silenced by hypermethylation or mutated in up to 70% of human breast cancers. In mouse models, Apc mutation disrupts normal mammary development and predisposes to mammary tumor formation; however, the cooperation between APC and other mutations in breast tumorigenesis has not been studied. To test the hypothesis that loss of one copy of APC promotes oncogene-mediated mammary tumorigenesis, Apc Min/+ mice were crossed with the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Polyoma virus middle T antigen (PyMT) or MMTV-c-Neu transgenic mice. In the PyMT tumor model, the Apc Min/+ mutation significantly decreased survival and tumor latency, promoted a squamous adenocarcinoma phenotype, and enhanced tumor cell proliferation. In tumor-derived cell lines, the proliferative advantage was a result of increased FAK, Src and JNK signaling. These effects were specific to the PyMT model, as no changes were observed in MMTV-c-Neu mice carrying the Apc Min/+ mutation. Our data indicate that heterozygosity of Apc enhances tumor development in an oncogene-specific manner, providing evidence that APC-dependent pathways may be valuable therapeutic targets in breast cancer. Moreover, these preclinical model systems offer a platform for dissection of the molecular mechanisms by which APC mutation enhances breast carcinogenesis, such as altered FAK/Src/JNK signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)