Transgenic mice overexpressing neuregulin-1 model neurofibroma-malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor progression and implicate specific chromosomal copy number variations in tumorigenesis

Syed J. Kazmi, Stephanie J. Byer, Jenell M. Eckert, Amy N. Turk, Richard P.H. Huijbregts, Nicole M. Brossier, William E. Grizzle, Fady M. Mikhail, Kevin A. Roth, Steven L. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) develop benign plexiform neurofibromas that frequently progress to become malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). A genetically engineered mouse model that accurately models plexiform neurofibroma-MPNST progression in humans would facilitate identification of somatic mutations driving this process. We previously reported that transgenic mice overexpressing the growth factor neuregulin-1 in Schwann cells (P0-GGFβ3 mice) develop MPNSTs. To determine whether P0-GGFβ3 mice accurately model human neurofibroma-MPNST progression, cohorts of these animals were monitored through death and were necropsied; 94% developed multiple neurofibromas, with 70% carrying smaller numbers of MPNSTs. Nascent MPNSTs were identified within neurofibromas, suggesting that these sarcomas arise from neurofibromas. Although neurofibromin expression was maintained, P0-GGFβ3 MPNSTs exhibited Ras hyperactivation, as in human NF1-associated MPNSTs. P0-GGFβ3 MPNSTs also exhibited abnormalities in the p16INK4A-cyclin D/CDK4-Rb and p19ARF-Mdm-p53 pathways, analogous to their human counterparts. Array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) demonstrated reproducible chromosomal alterations in P0-GGFβ3 MPNST cells (including universal chromosome 11 gains) and focal gains and losses affecting 39 neoplasia-associated genes (including Pten, Tpd52, Myc, Gli1, Xiap, and Bbc3/PUMA). Array comparative genomic hybridization also identified recurrent focal copy number variations affecting genes not previously linked to neurofibroma or MPNST pathogenesis. We conclude that P0-GGFβ3 mice represent a robust model of neurofibroma-MPNST progression useful for identifying novel genes driving neurofibroma and MPNST pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-667
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume182
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

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