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A Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated screen identifies murine susceptibility genes for adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc)-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, Center for Genome Engineering, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 03/2011; 108(14):5765-70. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018012108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is proposed that a progressive series of mutations and epigenetic events leads to human colorectal cancer (CRC) and metastasis. Furthermore, data from resequencing of the coding regions of human CRC suggests that a relatively large number of mutations occur in individual human CRC, most at low frequency. The functional role of these low-frequency mutations in CRC, and specifically how they may cooperate with high-frequency mutations, is not well understood. One of the most common rate-limiting mutations in human CRC occurs in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. To identify mutations that cooperate with mutant APC, we performed a forward genetic screen in mice carrying a mutant allele of Apc (Apc(Min)) using Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Apc(Min) SB-mutagenized mice developed three times as many polyps as mice with the Apc(Min) allele alone. Analysis of transposon common insertion sites (CIS) identified the Apc locus as a major target of SB-induced mutagenesis, suggesting that SB insertions provide an efficient route to biallelic Apc inactivation. We also identified an additional 32 CIS genes/loci that may represent modifiers of the Apc(Min) phenotype. Five CIS genes tested for their role in proliferation caused a significant change in cell viability when message levels were reduced in human CRC cells. These findings demonstrate the utility of using transposon mutagenesis to identify low-frequency and cooperating cancer genes; this approach will aid in the development of combinatorial therapies targeting this deadly disease.

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