The four principal gut epithelial cell lineages undergo continuous and rapid renewal during a geographically well-organized migration along the crypt-to-villus axis. The molecules that regulate their proliferation and differentiation programs are largely unknown. The large tumor antigen (TAg) of wild-type (wt) simian virus 40 (SV40) and its mutant derivatives represent tools for describing the contributions of regulators of the cell cycle to the proliferative state of each lineage. Expression of SV40 TAg(wt) in postmitotic, villus-associated enterocytes of transgenic mice causes them to reenter the cell cycle without an apparent effect on their state of differentiation. When human KRAS with a Val-12 substitution ([Val12]KRAS) is coexpressed with SV40 TAg(wt) in villus enterocytes of bitransgenic animals, the two oncoproteins cooperate to produce dedifferentiation (dysplasia). SV40 mutant dl1137 expresses a TAg that is unable to complex with p53 but retains N-terminal transforming functions, including the ability to complex pRB, p107, and p300. When SV40 TAg(dl1137) is expressed in villus enterocytes, they reenter into the cell cycle. However, coexpression of SV40 TAg(dl1137) and [Val12]KRAS does not produce dysplastic changes. Thus, the N-terminal 121 residues of TAg are sufficient to perturb the proliferative state of the enterocyte but not to produce detectable changes in the state of differentiation when coexpressed with [Val12]KRAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6914-6918
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 19 1994


  • [Val]KRAS
  • cell cycle regulation
  • intestinal neoplasia


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