Gene Summary

Gene:RAG2; recombination activating 2
Aliases: RAG-2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that is involved in the initiation of V(D)J recombination during B and T cell development. This protein forms a complex with the product of the adjacent recombination activating gene 1, and this complex can form double-strand breaks by cleaving DNA at conserved recombination signal sequences. The recombination activating gene 1 component is thought to contain most of the catalytic activity, while the N-terminal of the recombination activating gene 2 component is thought to form a six-bladed propeller in the active core that serves as a binding scaffold for the tight association of the complex with DNA. A C-terminal plant homeodomain finger-like motif in this protein is necessary for interactions with chromatin components, specifically with histone H3 that is trimethylated at lysine 4. Mutations in this gene cause Omenn syndrome, a form of severe combined immunodeficiency associated with autoimmune-like symptoms. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:V(D)J recombination-activating protein 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (21)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Knockout Mice
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • T-Cell Lymphoma
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Adult T-Cell Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Base Sequence
  • Genes, RAG-1
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • beta Catenin
  • Transfection
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • Apoptosis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Leukaemia
  • Genetic Recombination
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Disease Progression
  • Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome 11
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: RAG2 (cancer-related)

Hu J, Zhang Y, Zhao L, et al.
Chromosomal Loop Domains Direct the Recombination of Antigen Receptor Genes.
Cell. 2015; 163(4):947-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RAG initiates antibody V(D)J recombination in developing lymphocytes by generating "on-target" DNA breaks at matched pairs of bona fide recombination signal sequences (RSSs). We employ bait RAG-generated breaks in endogenous or ectopically inserted RSS pairs to identify huge numbers of RAG "off-target" breaks. Such breaks occur at the simple CAC motif that defines the RSS cleavage site and are largely confined within convergent CTCF-binding element (CBE)-flanked loop domains containing bait RSS pairs. Marked orientation dependence of RAG off-target activity within loops spanning up to 2 megabases implies involvement of linear tracking. In this regard, major RAG off-targets in chromosomal translocations occur as convergent RSS pairs at enhancers within a loop. Finally, deletion of a CBE-based IgH locus element disrupts V(D)J recombination domains and, correspondingly, alters RAG on- and off-target distributions within IgH. Our findings reveal how RAG activity is developmentally focused and implicate mechanisms by which chromatin domains harness biological processes within them.

Ochodnicka-Mackovicova K, Bahjat M, Bloedjes TA, et al.
NF-κB and AKT signaling prevent DNA damage in transformed pre-B cells by suppressing RAG1/2 expression and activity.
Blood. 2015; 126(11):1324-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In developing lymphocytes, expression and activity of the recombination activation gene protein 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 endonuclease complex is tightly regulated to ensure ordered recombination of the immunoglobulin genes and to avoid genomic instability. Aberrant RAG activity has been implicated in the generation of secondary genetic events in human B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALLs), illustrating the oncogenic potential of the RAG complex. Several layers of regulation prevent collateral genomic DNA damage by restricting RAG activity to the G1 phase of the cell cycle. In this study, we show a novel pathway that suppresses RAG expression in cycling-transformed mouse pre-B cells and human pre-B B-ALL cells that involves the negative regulation of FOXO1 by nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). Inhibition of NF-κB in cycling pre-B cells resulted in upregulation of RAG expression and recombination activity, which provoked RAG-dependent DNA damage. In agreement, we observe a negative correlation between NF-κB activity and the expression of RAG1, RAG2, and TdT in B-ALL patients. Our data suggest that targeting NF-κB in B-ALL increases the risk of RAG-dependent genomic instability.

Pore N, Jalla S, Liu Z, et al.
In Vivo Loss of Function Screening Reveals Carbonic Anhydrase IX as a Key Modulator of Tumor Initiating Potential in Primary Pancreatic Tumors.
Neoplasia. 2015; 17(6):473-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Reprogramming of energy metabolism is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. Up-regulation of energy metabolism pathways fuels cell growth and division, a key characteristic of neoplastic disease, and can lead to dependency on specific metabolic pathways. Thus, targeting energy metabolism pathways might offer the opportunity for novel therapeutics. Here, we describe the application of a novel in vivo screening approach for the identification of genes involved in cancer metabolism using a patient-derived pancreatic xenograft model. Lentiviruses expressing short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting 12 different cell surface protein transporters were separately transduced into the primary pancreatic tumor cells. Transduced cells were pooled and implanted into mice. Tumors were harvested at different times, and the frequency of each shRNA was determined as a measure of which ones prevented tumor growth. Several targets including carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), monocarboxylate transporter 4, and anionic amino acid transporter light chain, xc- system (xCT) were identified in these studies and shown to be required for tumor initiation and growth. Interestingly, CAIX was overexpressed in the tumor initiating cell population. CAIX expression alone correlated with a highly tumorigenic subpopulation of cells. Furthermore, CAIX expression was essential for tumor initiation because shRNA knockdown eliminated the ability of cells to grow in vivo. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first parallel in vivo assessment of multiple novel oncology target genes using a patient-derived pancreatic tumor model.

Chun E, Lavoie S, Michaud M, et al.
CCL2 Promotes Colorectal Carcinogenesis by Enhancing Polymorphonuclear Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Population and Function.
Cell Rep. 2015; 12(2):244-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Our study reveals a non-canonical role for CCL2 in modulating non-macrophage, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and shaping a tumor-permissive microenvironment during colon cancer development. We found that intratumoral CCL2 levels increased in patients with colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CRC), adenocarcinomas, and adenomas. Deletion of CCL2 blocked progression from dysplasia to adenocarcinoma and reduced the number of colonic MDSCs in a spontaneous mouse model of colitis-associated CRC. In a transplantable mouse model of adenocarcinoma and an APC-driven adenoma model, CCL2 fostered MDSC accumulation in evolving colonic tumors and enhanced polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSC immunosuppressive features. Mechanistically, CCL2 regulated T cell suppression of PMN-MDSCs in a STAT3-mediated manner. Furthermore, CCL2 neutralization decreased tumor numbers and MDSC accumulation and function. Collectively, our experiments support that perturbing CCL2 and targeting MDSCs may afford therapeutic opportunities for colon cancer interception and prevention.

Sanmamed MF, Rodriguez I, Schalper KA, et al.
Nivolumab and Urelumab Enhance Antitumor Activity of Human T Lymphocytes Engrafted in Rag2-/-IL2Rγnull Immunodeficient Mice.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(17):3466-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
A current pressing need in cancer immunology is the development of preclinical model systems that are immunocompetent for the study of human tumors. Here, we report the development of a humanized murine model that can be used to analyze the pharmacodynamics and antitumor properties of immunostimulatory monoclonal antibodies (mAb) in settings where the receptors targeted by the mAbs are expressed. Human lymphocytes transferred into immunodeficient mice underwent activation and redistribution to murine organs, where they exhibited cell-surface expression of hCD137 and hPD-1. Systemic lymphocyte infiltrations resulted in a lethal CD4(+) T cell-mediated disease (xenograft-versus-host disease), which was aggravated when murine subjects were administered clinical-grade anti-hCD137 (urelumab) and anti-hPD-1 (nivolumab). In mice engrafted with human colorectal HT-29 carcinoma cells and allogeneic human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), or with a patient-derived gastric carcinoma and PBMCs from the same patient, we found that coadministration of urelumab and nivolumab was sufficient to significantly slow tumor growth. Correlated with this result were increased numbers of activated human T lymphocytes producing IFNγ and decreased numbers of human regulatory T lymphocytes in the tumor xenografts, possibly explaining the efficacy of the therapeutic regimen. Our results offer a proof of concept for the use of humanized mouse models for surrogate efficacy and histology investigations of immune checkpoint drugs and their combinations.

Agathangelidis A, Scarfò L, Barbaglio F, et al.
Establishment and Characterization of PCL12, a Novel CD5+ Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0130195 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Immortalized cell lines representative of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can assist in understanding disease pathogenesis and testing new therapeutic agents. At present, very few representative cell lines are available. We here describe the characterization of a new cell line (PCL12) that grew spontaneously from the peripheral blood (PB) of a CLL patient with progressive disease and EBV infection. The CLL cell origin of PCL12 was confirmed after the alignment of its IGH sequence against the "original" clonotypic sequence. The IGH gene rearrangement was truly unmutated and no CLL-related cytogenetic or genetic lesions were detected. PCL12 cells express CD19, CD20, CD5, CD23, low levels of IgM and IgD and the poor-outcome-associated prognostic markers CD38, ZAP70 and TCL1. In accordance with its aggressive phenotype the cell line is inactive in terms of LYN and HS1 phosphorylation. BcR signalling pathway is constitutively active and anergic in terms of p-ERK and Calcium flux response to α-IgM stimulation. PCL12 cells strongly migrate in vitro in response to SDF-1 and form clusters. Finally, they grow rapidly and localize in all lymphoid organs when xenotrasplanted in Rag2-/-γc-/- mice. PCL12 represents a suitable preclinical model for testing pharmacological agents.

Swaminathan S, Klemm L, Park E, et al.
Mechanisms of clonal evolution in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nat Immunol. 2015; 16(7):766-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can often be traced to a pre-leukemic clone carrying a prenatal genetic lesion. Postnatally acquired mutations then drive clonal evolution toward overt leukemia. The enzymes RAG1-RAG2 and AID, which diversify immunoglobulin-encoding genes, are strictly segregated in developing cells during B lymphopoiesis and peripheral mature B cells, respectively. Here we identified small pre-BII cells as a natural subset with increased genetic vulnerability owing to concurrent activation of these enzymes. Consistent with epidemiological findings on childhood ALL etiology, susceptibility to genetic lesions during B lymphopoiesis at the transition from the large pre-BII cell stage to the small pre-BII cell stage was exacerbated by abnormal cytokine signaling and repetitive inflammatory stimuli. We demonstrated that AID and RAG1-RAG2 drove leukemic clonal evolution with repeated exposure to inflammatory stimuli, paralleling chronic infections in childhood.

Ba Z, Meng FL, Gostissa M, et al.
A Rapid Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Mouse Model for B-cell Lymphomas Driven by Epstein-Barr Virus Protein LMP1.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2015; 3(6):641-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) contributes to oncogenic human B-cell transformation. Mouse B cells conditionally expressing LMP1 are not predisposed to B-cell malignancies, as LMP1-expressing B cells are eliminated by T cells. However, mice with conditional B-cell LMP1 expression and genetic elimination of α/β and γ/δ T cells ("CLT" mice) die early in association with B-cell lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis. Generation of CLT mice involves in-breeding multiple independently segregating alleles. Thus, although introduction of additional activating or knockout mutations into the CLT model is desirable for further B-cell expansion and immunosurveillance studies, doing such experiments by germline breeding is time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes unfeasible. To generate a more tractable model, we generated clonal CLT embryonic stem (ES) cells from CLT embryos and injected them into RAG2-deficient blastocysts to generate chimeric mice, which, like germline CLT mice, harbor splenic CLT B cells and lack T cells. CLT chimeric mice generated by this RAG2-deficient blastocyst complementation ("RDBC") approach die rapidly in association with B-cell lymphoproliferation and lymphoma. Because CLT lymphomas routinely express the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) antibody diversifier, we tested potential AID roles by eliminating the AID gene in CLT ES cells and testing them via RDBC. We found that CLT and AID-deficient CLT ES chimeras had indistinguishable phenotypes, showing that AID is not essential for LMP1-induced lymphomagenesis. Beyond expanding accessibility and utility of CLT mice as a cancer immunotherapy model, our studies provide a new approach for facilitating generation of genetically complex mouse cancer models.

Xu SQ, Buraschi S, Morcavallo A, et al.
A novel role for drebrin in regulating progranulin bioactivity in bladder cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(13):10825-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We recently established a critical role for the growth factor progranulin in bladder cancer insofar as progranulin promotes urothelial cancer cell motility and contributes, as an autocrine growth factor, to the transformed phenotype by modulating invasion and anchorage-independent growth. In addition, progranulin expression is upregulated in invasive bladder cancer tissues compared to normal controls. However, the molecular mechanisms of progranulin action in bladder cancer have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we searched for novel progranulin-interacting proteins using pull-down assays with recombinant progranulin and proteomics. We discovered that drebrin, an F-actin binding protein, bound progranulin in urothelial cancer cells. We characterized drebrin function in urothelial cancer cell lines and showed that drebrin is critical for progranulin-dependent activation of the Akt and MAPK pathways and modulates motility, invasion and anchorage-independent growth. In addition, drebrin regulates tumor formation in vivo and its expression is upregulated in bladder cancer tissues compared to normal tissue controls. Our data are translationally relevant as indicate that drebrin exerts an essential functional role in the regulation of progranulin action and may constitute a novel target for therapeutic intervention in bladder tumors. In addition, drebrin may serve as novel biomarker for bladder cancer.

Motoyama K, Onodera R, Tanaka N, et al.
Evaluation of antitumor effects of folate-conjugated methyl-β-cyclodextrin in melanoma.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2015; 38(3):374-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma is a life-threatening disorder and its incidence is increasing gradually. Despite the numerous treatment approaches, conventional systemic chemotherapy has not reduced the mortality rate among melanoma patients, probably due to the induction of toxicity to normal tissues. Recently, we have developed folate-conjugated methyl-β-cyclodextrin (FA-M-β-CyD) and clarified its potential as a new antitumor agent involved in autophagic cell death. However, it remains uncertain whether FA-M-β-CyD exerts anticancer effects against melanomas. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effects of FA-M-β-CyD on the folate receptor-α (FR-α)-expressing melanoma cell-selective cytotoxic effect. FA-M-β-CyD showed cytotoxic effects in Ihara cells, a human melanoma cell line expressing FR-α. In sharp contrast to methyl-β-cyclodextrin, FA-M-β-CyD entered Ihara cells [FR-α(+)] through FR-α-mediated endocytosis. Additionally, FA-M-β-CyD elicited the formation of autophagosomes in Ihara cells. Notably, FA-M-β-CyD suppressed melanoma growth in BALB/c nude recombinase-activating gene-2 (Rag-2)/Janus kinase 3 (Jak3) double deficient mice bearing Ihara cells. Therefore, these results suggest that FA-M-β-CyD could be utilized as a potent anticancer agent for melanoma chemotherapy by regulating autophagy.

Navarro JM, Touzart A, Pradel LC, et al.
Site- and allele-specific polycomb dysregulation in T-cell leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6094 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemias (T-ALL) are aggressive malignant proliferations characterized by high relapse rates and great genetic heterogeneity. TAL1 is amongst the most frequently deregulated oncogenes. Yet, over half of the TAL1(+) cases lack TAL1 lesions, suggesting unrecognized (epi)genetic deregulation mechanisms. Here we show that TAL1 is normally silenced in the T-cell lineage, and that the polycomb H3K27me3-repressive mark is focally diminished in TAL1(+) T-ALLs. Sequencing reveals that >20% of monoallelic TAL1(+) patients without previously known alterations display microinsertions or RAG1/2-mediated episomal reintegration in a single site 5' to TAL1. Using 'allelic-ChIP' and CrispR assays, we demonstrate that such insertions induce a selective switch from H3K27me3 to H3K27ac at the inserted but not the germline allele. We also show that, despite a considerable mechanistic diversity, the mode of oncogenic TAL1 activation, rather than expression levels, impact on clinical outcome. Altogether, these studies establish site-specific epigenetic desilencing as a mechanism of oncogenic activation.

Hassan WA, Yoshida R, Kudoh S, et al.
Notch1 controls cell invasion and metastasis in small cell lung carcinoma cell lines.
Lung Cancer. 2014; 86(3):304-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Notch signaling plays a key role in a wide variety of human neoplasms, and it can be either oncogenic or anti-proliferative. Moreover, Notch function in regulating cancer is unpredictable, and its outcome is strictly context-dependent.
AIM: To study the role of Notch1 signaling in human small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and its effect on cell invasion and metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology, to down-regulate the expression of Notch1 in H69AR and SBC3 SCLC cells. On the other hand, we up-regulated Notch1 in H69 and H1688 SCLC cells through transfection with venus Notch1 intracellular domain (v.NICD) plasmid. In addition, H69 cells with v.NICD were xenotransplanted into immune-compromised Rag2(-/-) Jak3(-/-) mice, for analysis of ex vivo tumor epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype and for detection of metastatic cancer cells in the lung tissues. Moreover, we examined the metastatic ability for H69AR and SBC3 cells transfected with siRNA against Notch1, compared to their subsequent controls, by use of tail vein xenograft mouse models.
RESULTS: Notch1 controls cell adhesion and EMT. Overexpression of Notch1 in SCLC switched off EMT, cell motility and cell metastatic potential.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that activation of Notch1 signaling pathway may represent a new strategy for treating human SCLC.

Tsukahara T, Iwase N, Kawakami K, et al.
The Tol2 transposon system mediates the genetic engineering of T-cells with CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptors for B-cell malignancies.
Gene Ther. 2015; 22(2):209-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Engineered T-cell therapy using a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CD19-CAR) is a promising strategy for the treatment of advanced B-cell malignancies. Gene transfer of CARs to T-cells has widely relied on retroviral vectors, but transposon-based gene transfer has recently emerged as a suitable nonviral method to mediate stable transgene expression. The advantages of transposon vectors compared with viral vectors include their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. We used the Tol2 transposon system to stably transfer CD19-CAR into human T-cells. Normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes were co-nucleofected with the Tol2 transposon donor plasmid carrying CD19-CAR and the transposase expression plasmid and were selectively propagated on NIH3T3 cells expressing human CD19. Expanded CD3(+) T-cells with stable and high-level transgene expression (~95%) produced interferon-γ upon stimulation with CD19 and specifically lysed Raji cells, a CD19(+) human B-cell lymphoma cell line. Adoptive transfer of these T-cells suppressed tumor progression in Raji tumor-bearing Rag2(-/-)γc(-/-) immunodeficient mice compared with control mice. These results demonstrate that the Tol2 transposon system could be used to express CD19-CAR in genetically engineered T-cells for the treatment of refractory B-cell malignancies.

Brodbeck T, Nehmann N, Bethge A, et al.
Perforin-dependent direct cytotoxicity in natural killer cells induces considerable knockdown of spontaneous lung metastases and computer modelling-proven tumor cell dormancy in a HT29 human colon cancer xenograft mouse model.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:244 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: For long, natural killer (NK) cells have been suspected to play a critical role in suppressing the development of spontaneous metastases in cancer patients. Despite a wide range of studies it remains unclear so far to what extent primary tumor growth together with formation of distant metastases and NK cell activity influence each other.
METHODS: To precisely investigate the role of NK cells with a perforin-deficiency in cancer growth and metastasis formation, human HT29 colon cancer cells were subcutaneously grafted into pore forming protein and recombination activating gene 2 double knock out (pfp/rag2) mice and in recombination activating gene 2 only knock out (rag2) mice both with black six background. Both mice lack B and T cell functions due to the absence of rag2.
RESULTS: Primary tumors developed in 16/16 in pfp/rag2 and 20/20 rag2 mice. At sacrifice primary tumor weight did not differ significantly. However, tumors grew faster in pfp/rag2 mice (50 days) than in pfp/rag2 mice (70 days). Circulating tumor cells (CTC) in murine blood were nearly three times higher in pfp/rag2 (68 cells/ml) than in rag2 mice (24 cells/ml). Lung metastases occurred frequently in pfp/rag2 mice (13/16) and infrequently in rag2 mice (5/20). The mean number of metastases was 789 in pfp/rag2 mice compared to 210 in rag2 mice. Lung metastases in pfp/rag2 mice consisted of 10-100 tumor cells while those in rag2 mice were generally disseminated tumor cells (DTCs).Computer modelling showed that perforin-dependent killing of NK cells decelerates the growth of the primary tumour and kills 80% of CTCs. Furthermore, perforin-mediated cytotoxicity hampers the proliferation of the malignant cells in host tissue forcing them to stay dormant for at least 30 days.
CONCLUSION: The results exactly quantified the effect of perforin-dependent direct cytotoxicity of NK cells on HT29 on primary tumor growth, number of CTCs in the blood and the number of metastases. The largest effects were seen in the number of mice developing spontaneous lung metastases and the mean number of lung metastases. Hence, perforin-mediated cytotoxicity used for direct killing by NK cells is more important than indirect killing by secretion of death-inducing ligands by NK cells.

Shimazaki N, Lieber MR
Histone methylation and V(D)J recombination.
Int J Hematol. 2014; 100(3):230-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
V(D)J recombination is the process by which the diversity of antigen receptor genes is generated and is also indispensable for lymphocyte development. This recombination event occurs in a cell lineage- and stage-specific manner, and is carefully controlled by chromatin structure and ordered histone modifications. The recombinationally active V(D)J loci are associated with hypermethylation at lysine4 of histone H3 and hyperacetylation of histones H3/H4. The recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 complex initiates recombination by introducing double-strand DNA breaks at recombination signal sequences (RSS) adjacent to each coding sequence. To be recognized by the RAG complex, RSS sites must be within an open chromatin context. In addition, the RAG complex specifically recognizes hypermethylated H3K4 through its plant homeodomain (PHD) finger in the RAG2 C terminus, which stimulates RAG catalytic activity via that interaction. In this review, we describe how histone methylation controls V(D)J recombination and discuss its potential role in lymphoid malignancy by mistargeting the RAG complex.

Nagel S, Meyer C, Kaufmann M, et al.
Deregulated FOX genes in Hodgkin lymphoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(11):917-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
FOX genes encode transcription factors which regulate basic developmental processes during embryogenesis and in the adult. Several FOX genes show deregulated expression in particular malignancies, representing oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Here, we screened six Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cell lines for FOX gene activity by comparative microarray profiling, revealing overexpression of FOXC1 and FOXD1, and reduced transcription of FOXN3, FOXO1, and FOXP1. In silico expression analyses of these FOX gene candidates in HL patient samples supported the cell line data. Chromosomal analyses demonstrated an amplification of the FOXC1 locus at 6p25 and a gain of the FOXR2 locus at Xp11, indicting genomic aberrations for their upregulation. Comparative expression profiling and ensuing stimulation experiments revealed implementation of the TGFβ- and WNT-signaling pathways in deregulation of FOXD1 and FOXN3. Functional analysis of FOXP1 implicated miR9 and miR34a as upstream regulators and PAX5, TCF3, and RAG2 as downstream targets. A similar exercise for FOXC1 revealed repression of MSX1 and activation of IPO7, both mediating inhibition of the B-cell specific homeobox gene ZHX2. Taken together, our data show that aberrantly expressed FOX genes and their downstream targets are involved in the pathogenesis of HL via deregulation of B-cell differentiation and may represent useful diagnostic markers and/or therapeutic targets.

Shultz LD, Goodwin N, Ishikawa F, et al.
Human cancer growth and therapy in immunodeficient mouse models.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2014; 2014(7):694-708 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Since the discovery of the "nude" mouse more than 40 years ago, investigators have attempted to model human tumor growth in immunodeficient mice. Here, we summarize how the field has advanced over the ensuing years owing to improvements in the murine recipients of human tumors. These improvements include the discovery of the scid mutation and development of targeted mutations in the recombination-activating genes 1 and 2 (Rag1(null), Rag2(null)) that severely cripple the adaptive immune response of the murine host. More recently, mice deficient in adaptive immunity have been crossed with mice bearing targeted mutations designed to weaken the innate immune system, ultimately leading to the development of immunodeficient mice bearing a targeted mutation in the gene encoding the interleukin 2 (IL2) receptor common γ chain (IL2rg(null), also known in humans as cytokine receptor common subunit γ). The IL2rg(null) mutation has been used to develop several immunodeficient strains of mice, including the NOD-scid IL2rg(null) (NSG) strain. Using NSG mice as human xenograft recipients, it is now possible to grow almost all types of primary human tumors in vivo, including most solid tumors and hematological malignancies that maintain characteristics of the primary tumor in the patient. Programs to optimize patient-specific therapy using patient-derived xenograft tumor growth in NSG mice have been established at several institutions, including The Jackson Laboratory. Moreover, NSG mice can be engrafted with functional human immune systems, permitting for the first time the potential to study primary human tumors in vivo in the presence of a human immune system.

Daudigeos-Dubus E, LE Dret L, Rouffiac V, et al.
Establishment and characterization of new orthotopic and metastatic neuroblastoma models.
In Vivo. 2014 Jul-Aug; 28(4):425-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Treatment of metastatic neuroblastoma remains a challenge in pediatric oncology. Relevant preclinical models may improve exploration of oncogenesis and new therapies. We developed new orthotopic and metastatic models derived from stage 4 neuroblastoma.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Orthotopic and systemic models were established in BalbC Rag2(-/-)gammaC(-/-) mice following adrenal and intravenous injection of luciferase-transfected IMR-32 and IGR-N91 cells, respectively.
RESULTS: All four models exhibited 100% tumor take rate. Metastatic spread of orthotopic IMR-32-Luc cells was observed mainly to the lung, liver and bone; that of IGR-N91-Luc cells to liver, spleen and adrenals. Interestingly, systemic IMR-32-Luc cells metastasized rather to the lung, liver and bone, and IGR-N91-Luc to liver, lung, spleen and adrenals. Feasibility of non-invasive, real-time antitumor response evaluation was validated in the systemic models.
CONCLUSION: These neuroblastoma models with distinct patterns of metastatic spread represent relevant tools for exploring local and metastatic tumor cell tropism, mechanisms of spread and evaluating new cancer therapeutics.

Wael H, Yoshida R, Kudoh S, et al.
Notch1 signaling controls cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation in lung carcinoma.
Lung Cancer. 2014; 85(2):131-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The role of Notch signaling in human lung cancer still remains unclear, and there has been and stills a debate, on the extent to which Notch ligands and receptors are involved in lung cancer development. This study was carried out to investigate the role of Notch1 signaling in the proliferation and differentiation of human lung cancer cells.
METHODS: We used small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology to down-regulate the expression of Notch1 in small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cells; H69AR and SBC-3, as well as in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cells; A549 adenocarcinoma (ADC) and H2170 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Also, we transfected venus Notch1 intracellular domain (v.NICD) plasmid into the human SCLC line H69 and H1688. In addition, H1688 cells with activated Notch1 were injected into immune-compromised Rag2(-/-) Jak3(-/-) mice for analysis of ex vivo tumor growth and differentiation phenotype.
RESULTS: Notch1 controls cell proliferation and apoptosis in both SCLC and A549; but not in H2170 cell line. Overexpression of Notch1 in SCLC markedly decreased cell proliferation via apoptosis. The subcutaneous tumors arising from xenotransplaned SCLC cells transfected with Notch1 showed "epithelial-like glandular" arrangement, with positive Alcian blue staining and reduction in neuroendocrine markers.
CONCLUSION: Notch1 up regulation has an inhibitory effect on cell growth and NE differentiation in SCLC, with induction of an epithelial-like morphology of cells in tissue samples. In NSCLC, Notch1 expression has a tumor inhibitory effect on ADC cells, but not SCC cells.

Jiang C, Huang T, Wang Y, et al.
Immunoglobulin G expression in lung cancer and its effects on metastasis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97359 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer is one of the leading malignancies worldwide, but the regulatory mechanism of its growth and metastasis is still poorly understood. We investigated the possible expression of immunoglobulin G (IgG) genes in squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas of the lung and related cancer cell lines. Abundant mRNA of IgG and essential enzymes for IgG synthesis, recombination activation genes 1, 2 (RAG1, 2) and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) were detected in the cancer cells but not in adjacent normal lung tissue or normal lung epithelial cell line. The extents of IgG expression in 86 lung cancers were found to associate with clinical stage, pathological grade and lymph node metastasis. We found that knockdown of IgG with siRNA resulted in decreases of cellular proliferation, migration and attachment for cultured lung cancer cells. Metastasis-associated gene 1 (MTA1) appeared to be co-expressed with IgG in lung cancer cells. Statistical analysis showed that the rate of IgG expression was significantly correlated to that of MTA1 and to lymph node metastases. Inhibition of MTA1 gene expression with siRNA also led to decreases of cellular migration and attachment for cultured lung cancer cells. These evidences suggested that inhibition of cancer migration and attachment induced by IgG down-regulation might be achieved through MTA1 regulatory pathway. Our findings suggest that lung cancer-produced IgG is likely to play an important role in cancer growth and metastasis with significant clinical implications.

Goto H, Kojima Y, Matsuda K, et al.
Efficacy of anti-CD47 antibody-mediated phagocytosis with macrophages against primary effusion lymphoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(10):1836-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, the critical role of CD47 on the surface of resistant cancer cells has been proposed in their evasion of immunosurveillance. Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a subtype of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that shows serous lymphomatous effusion in body cavities, especially in advanced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). PEL is resistant to conventional chemotherapy and has a poor prognosis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of anti-CD47 antibody (Ab) on PEL in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Surface CD47 of PEL cell lines was examined by flow cytometry. Efficacy of knocking down CD47 or anti-CD47 Ab-mediated phagocytosis against PEL was evaluated using mouse peritoneal macrophages and human macrophages in vitro. Primary PEL cells were injected intraperitoneally into NOD/Rag-2/Jak3 double-deficient (NRJ) mice to establish a direct xenograft mouse model.
RESULTS: Surface CD47 of PEL cell lines was highly expressed. Knocking down CD47 and anti-CD47 Ab promoted phagocytic activities of macrophages in a CD47 expression-dependent manner in vitro. Treatment with anti-CD47 Ab inhibited ascite formation and organ invasion completely in vivo compared with control IgG-treated mice.
CONCLUSION: CD47 plays the pivotal role in the immune evasion of PEL cells in body cavities. Therapeutic antibody targeting of CD47 could be an effective therapy for PEL.

Decker S, Finter J, Forde AJ, et al.
PIM kinases are essential for chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell survival (PIM2/3) and CXCR4-mediated microenvironmental interactions (PIM1).
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(5):1231-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of the CXCR4 receptor is a hallmark of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and is important for CLL cell survival, migration, and interaction with their protective microenvironment. In acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), PIM1 was shown to regulate the surface expression of the CXCR4 receptor. Here, we show that PIM (proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus) kinases 1-3 are overexpressed and that the CXCR4 receptor is hyperphosphorylated on Ser339 in CLL compared with normal lymphocytes. Furthermore, CXCR4 phosphorylation correlates with PIM1 protein expression and PIM1 transcript levels in CLL. PIM kinase inhibition with three different PIM kinase inhibitors induced apoptosis in CLL cells independent of the presence of protective stromal cells. In addition, PIM inhibition caused dephosphorylation of the CXCR4 receptor on Ser339, resulting in enhanced ligand-dependent CXCR4 internalization and reduced re-externalization after withdrawal of CXCL12. Furthermore, PIM inhibition in CLL cells blocked CXCR4 functions, such as migration toward CXCL12- or CXCL12-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. In concordance, pretreatment of CLL cells with PIM kinase inhibitors strongly reduced homing of CLL cells toward the bone marrow and the spleen of Rag2(-/-)γc(-/-) mice in vivo. Interestingly, the knockdown of PIM kinases in CLL cells demonstrated diverging functions, with PIM1 regulating CXCR4 surface expression and PIM2 and PIM3 as important for the survival of CLL cells. Our results show that PIM kinase inhibitors are an effective therapeutic option for CLL, not only by impairing PIM2/3-mediated CLL cell survival, but also by blocking the PIM1/CXCR4-mediated interaction of CLL cells with their protective microenvironment.

Lu Y, Wu Y, Feng X, et al.
CDK4 deficiency promotes genomic instability and enhances Myc-driven lymphomagenesis.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(4):1672-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The G1 kinase CDK4 is amplified or overexpressed in some human tumors and promotes tumorigenesis by inhibiting known tumor suppressors. Here, we report that CDK4 deficiency markedly accelerated lymphoma development in the Eμ-Myc transgenic mouse model of B lymphoma and that silencing or loss of CDK4 augmented the tumorigenic potential of Myc-driven mouse and human B cell lymphoma in transplant models. Accelerated disease in CDK4-deficient Eμ-Myc transgenic mice was associated with rampant genomic instability that was provoked by dysregulation of a FOXO1/RAG1/RAG2 pathway. Specifically, CDK4 phosphorylated and inactivated FOXO1, which prevented FOXO1-dependent induction of Rag1 and Rag2 transcription. CDK4-deficient Eμ-Myc B cells had high levels of the active form of FOXO1 and elevated RAG1 and RAG2. Furthermore, overexpression of RAG1 and RAG2 accelerated lymphoma development in a transplant model, with RAG1/2-expressing tumors exhibiting hallmarks of genomic instability. Evaluation of human tumor samples revealed that CDK4 expression was markedly suppressed, while FOXO1 expression was elevated, in several subtypes of human non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma. Collectively, these findings establish a context-specific tumor suppressor function for CDK4 that prevents genomic instability, which contributes to B cell lymphoma. Furthermore, our data suggest that targeting CDK4 may increase the risk for the development and/or progression of lymphoma.

Keerthivasan S, Aghajani K, Dose M, et al.
β-Catenin promotes colitis and colon cancer through imprinting of proinflammatory properties in T cells.
Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6(225):225ra28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The density and type of lymphocytes that infiltrate colon tumors are predictive of the clinical outcome of colon cancer. High densities of T helper 17 (T(H)17) cells and inflammation predict poor outcome, whereas infiltration by T regulatory cells (Tregs) that naturally suppress inflammation is associated with longer patient survival. However, the role of Tregs in cancer remains controversial. We recently reported that Tregs in colon cancer patients can become proinflammatory and tumor-promoting. These properties were directly linked with their expression of RORγt (retinoic acid-related orphan receptor-γt), the signature transcription factor of T(H)17 cells. We report that Wnt/β-catenin signaling in T cells promotes expression of RORγt. Expression of β-catenin was elevated in T cells, including Tregs, of patients with colon cancer. Genetically engineered activation of β-catenin in mouse T cells resulted in enhanced chromatin accessibility in the proximity of T cell factor-1 (Tcf-1) binding sites genome-wide, induced expression of T(H)17 signature genes including RORγt, and promoted T(H)17-mediated inflammation. Strikingly, the mice had inflammation of small intestine and colon and developed lesions indistinguishable from colitis-induced cancer. Activation of β-catenin only in Tregs was sufficient to produce inflammation and initiate cancer. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in effector T cells and/or Tregs is causatively linked with the imprinting of proinflammatory properties and the promotion of colon cancer.

Truong HH, Xiong J, Ghotra VP, et al.
β1 integrin inhibition elicits a prometastatic switch through the TGFβ-miR-200-ZEB network in E-cadherin-positive triple-negative breast cancer.
Sci Signal. 2014; 7(312):ra15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) through integrin adhesion receptors provide cancer cells with physical and chemical cues that act together with growth factors to support survival and proliferation. Antagonists that target integrins containing the β1 subunit inhibit tumor growth and sensitize cells to irradiation or cytotoxic chemotherapy in preclinical breast cancer models and are under clinical investigation. We found that the loss of β1 integrins attenuated breast tumor growth but markedly enhanced tumor cell dissemination to the lungs. When cultured in three-dimensional ECM scaffolds, antibodies that blocked β1 integrin function or knockdown of β1 switched the migratory behavior of human and mouse E-cadherin-positive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells from collective to single cell movement. This switch involved activation of the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling network that led to a shift in the balance between miR-200 microRNAs and the transcription factor zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2), resulting in suppressed transcription of the gene encoding E-cadherin. Reducing the abundance of a TGFβ receptor, restoring the ZEB/miR-200 balance, or increasing the abundance of E-cadherin reestablished cohesion in β1 integrin-deficient cells and reduced dissemination to the lungs without affecting growth of the primary tumor. These findings reveal that β1 integrins control a signaling network that promotes an epithelial phenotype and suppresses dissemination and indicate that targeting β1 integrins may have undesirable effects in TNBC.

Kijima N, Hosen N, Kagawa N, et al.
Wilms' tumor 1 is involved in tumorigenicity of glioblastoma by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(1):61-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognosis for patients with glioblastoma is very poor, despite intensive treatment, including surgery and chemoradiotherapy. Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) is expressed in most glioblastoma samples, and immunotherapy targeting WT1 has proven to be effective in recurrent glioblastoma. However, the functional roles of WT1 in glioblastoma are not clear. To examine the functional roles of WT1 in glioblastoma, glioblastoma cell lines with reduced WT1 expression were generated using short hairpin RNA(shRNA)-expressing lentivirus. Proliferation of WT1-knockdown glioblastoma cells was significantly slower than control cells with high WT1 expression. In addition, apoptosis was increased in WT1-knockdown glioblastoma cells. Furthermore, WT1-knockdown glioblastoma cells, and control glioblastoma cells were intra-cranially injected into immunodeficient mice. In vivo tumor growth of WT1-knockdown glioblastoma cells was significantly reduced compared to control glioblastoma cells. These results show that WT1 is involved in glioblastoma cell proliferation and apoptosis and that this protein has oncogenic roles in glioblastoma.

Lu ZH, Kaliberov S, Sohn RE, et al.
Transcriptional targeting of primary and metastatic tumor neovasculature by an adenoviral type 5 roundabout4 vector in mice.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83933 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
New approaches targeting metastatic neovasculature are needed. Payload capacity, cellular transduction efficiency, and first-pass cellular uptake following systemic vector administration, motivates persistent interest in tumor vascular endothelial cell (EC) adenoviral (Ad) vector targeting. While EC transductional and transcriptional targeting has been accomplished, vector administration approaches of limited clinical utility, lack of tumor-wide EC expression quantification, and failure to address avid liver sequestration, challenged prior work. Here, we intravenously injected an Ad vector containing 3 kb of the human roundabout4 (ROBO4) enhancer/promoter transcriptionally regulating an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter into immunodeficient mice bearing 786-O renal cell carcinoma subcutaneous (SC) xenografts and kidney orthotopic (KO) tumors. Initial experiments performed in human coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (hCAR) transgenic:Rag2 knockout mice revealed multiple ECs with high-level Ad5ROBO4-EGFP expression throughout KO and SC tumors. In contrast, Ad5CMV-EGFP was sporadically expressed in a few tumor vascular ECs and stromal cells. As the hCAR transgene also facilitated Ad5ROBO4 and control Ad5CMV vector EC expression in multiple host organs, follow-on experiments engaged warfarin-mediated liver vector detargeting in hCAR non-transgenic mice. Ad5ROBO4-mediated EC expression was undetectable in most host organs, while the frequencies of vector expressing intratumoral vessels and whole tumor EGFP protein levels remained elevated. In contrast, AdCMV vector expression was only detectable in one or two stromal cells throughout the whole tumor. The Ad5ROBO4 vector, in conjunction with liver detargeting, provides tractable genetic access for in-vivo EC genetic engineering in malignancies.

El Behi M, Krumeich S, Lodillinsky C, et al.
An essential role for decorin in bladder cancer invasiveness.
EMBO Mol Med. 2013; 5(12):1835-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Muscle-invasive forms of urothelial carcinomas are responsible for most mortality in bladder cancer. Finding new treatments for invasive bladder tumours requires adequate animal models to decipher the mechanisms of progression, in particular the way tumours interact with their microenvironment. Herein, using the murine bladder tumour cell line MB49 and its more aggressive variant MB49-I, we demonstrate that the adaptive immune system efficiently limits progression of MB49, whereas MB49-I has lost tumour antigens and is insensitive to adaptive immune responses. Furthermore, we unravel a parallel mechanism developed by MB49-I to subvert its environment: de novo secretion of the proteoglycan decorin. We show that decorin overexpression in the MB49/MB49-I model is required for efficient progression, by promoting angiogenesis and tumour cell invasiveness. Finally, we show that these results are relevant to muscle-invasive human bladder carcinomas, which overexpress decorin together with angiogenesis- and adhesion/migration-related genes, and that decorin overexpression in the human bladder carcinoma cell line TCCSUP is required for efficient invasiveness in vitro. We thus propose decorin as a new therapeutic target for these aggressive tumours.

Gilmour AM, Abdulkhalek S, Cheng TS, et al.
A novel epidermal growth factor receptor-signaling platform and its targeted translation in pancreatic cancer.
Cell Signal. 2013; 25(12):2587-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced EGFR tyrosine kinase receptor activation in cancer cell survival responses has become a strategic molecular-targeting clinical therapeutic intent, but the failures of these targeted approaches in the clinical setting demand alternate strategies. Here, we uncover a novel neuraminidase-1 (Neu1) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) cross-talk in alliance with GPCR neuromedin B, which is essential for EGF-induced receptor activation and cellular signaling. Neu1 and MMP-9 form a complex with EGFR on the cell surface. Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), anti-Neu1 antibodies, broad range MMP inhibitor galardin (GM6001), neuromedin B GPCR specific antagonist BIM-23127, the selective inhibitor of whole heterotrimeric G-protein complex BIM-46174 and MMP-9 specific inhibitor dose-dependently inhibited Neu1 activity associated with EGF stimulated 3T3-hEGFR cells. Tamiflu, anti-Neu1 antibodies and MMP9i attenuated EGFR phosphorylation associated with EGF-stimulated cells. Preclinical data provide the proof-of-evidence for a therapeutic targeting of Neu1 with Tamiflu in impeding human pancreatic cancer growth and metastatic spread in heterotopic xenografts of eGFP-MiaPaCa-2 tumors growing in RAGxCγ double mutant mice. Tamiflu-treated cohort exhibited a reduction of phosphorylation of EGFR-Tyr1173, Stat1-Tyr701, Akt-Thr308, PDGFRα-Tyr754 and NFκBp65-Ser311 but an increase in phospho-Smad2-Ser465/467 and -VEGFR2-Tyr1175 in the tumor lysates from the xenografts of human eGFP-MiaPaCa-2 tumor-bearing mice. The findings identify a novel promising alternate therapeutic treatment of human pancreatic cancer.

Thong AE, Zhao H, Ingels A, et al.
Tissue slice grafts of human renal cell carcinoma: an authentic preclinical model with high engraftment rate and metastatic potential.
Urol Oncol. 2014; 32(1):43.e23-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Discovery of curative therapies for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is hampered by lack of authentic preclinical models. Tumorgrafts, generated by direct implantation of patient-derived tissues into mice, have demonstrated superior ability to predict therapeutic response. We evaluated "tissue slice grafts" (TSGs) as an improved tumorgraft model of RCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cores of fresh RCC were precision-cut at 300 µm and implanted under the renal capsule of RAG2(-/-)γC(-/-) mice. Engraftment rate, histology, biomarker expression, genetic fidelity, and metastatic potential were evaluated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was tested as a noninvasive method to measure tumor volume, and response to a targeted therapy was determined.
RESULTS: All 13 cases of RCC engrafted and displayed characteristic histology and biomarkers. TSG volume quantified noninvasively by MRI highly correlated with graft weights, providing a unique tool for monitoring orthotopic growth. Moreover, in 2 cases, cancer cells from TSGs metastasized to clinically relevant sites, including bone. Microarray analysis and DNA sequencing demonstrated a high degree of correlation of global gene expression and von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) status between TSGs and parental tumors. Treatment of TSGs with sunitinib significantly decreased graft weight and mean vessel density compared with controls.
CONCLUSION: The TSG model of RCC faithfully recapitulates tumor pathology, gene expression, genetic mutation, and drug response. The high engraftment rate and metastatic potential of this authentic model, in conjunction with the ability to generate large first-generation animal cohorts and to quantitate tumor volume at the orthotopic site by MRI, proffer significant advantages compared with other preclinical platforms.

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