ABSTRACT: Mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are responsible for tumorigenesis and represent favored therapeutic targets in oncology. We exploited homologous recombination to knock-in individual cancer mutations in the genome of nontransformed human cells. Sequential introduction of multiple mutations was also achieved, demonstrating the potential of this strategy to construct tumor progression models. Knock-in cells displayed allele-specific activation of signaling pathways and mutation-specific phenotypes different from those obtainable by ectopic oncogene expression. Profiling of a library of pharmacological agents on the mutated cells showed striking sensitivity or resistance phenotypes to pathway-targeted drugs, often matching those of tumor cells carrying equivalent cancer mutations. Thus, knock-in of single or multiple cancer alleles provides a pharmacogenomic platform for the rational design of targeted therapies.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(52):20864-9. · 9.68 Impact Factor