A mouse model of heterogeneous, c-MYC-initiated prostate cancer with loss of Pten and p53

J. Kim, M. Roh, I. Doubinskaia, G. N. Algarroba, I. E A Eltoum, S. A. Abdulkadir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Human tumors are heterogeneous and evolve through a dynamic process of genetic mutation and selection. During this process, the effects of a specific mutation on the incipient cancer cell may dictate the nature of subsequent mutations that can be tolerated or selected for, affecting the rate at which subsequent mutations occur. Here we have used a new mouse model of prostate cancer that recapitulates several salient features of the human disease to examine the relative rates in which the remaining wild-type alleles of Pten and p53 tumor suppressor genes are lost. In this model, focal overexpression of c-MYC in a few prostate luminal epithelial cells provokes a mild proliferative response. In the context of compound Pten/p53 heterozygosity, c-MYC-initiated cells progress to prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (mPIN) and adenocarcinoma lesions with marked heterogeneity within the same prostate glands. Using laser capture microdissection and gene copy number analyses, we found that the frequency of Pten loss was significantly higher than that of p53 loss in mPIN but not invasive carcinoma lesions. c-MYC overexpression, unlike Pten loss, did not activate the p53 pathway in transgenic mouse prostate cells, explaining the lack of selective pressure to lose p53 in the c-MYC-overexpressing cells. This model of heterogeneous prostate cancer based on alterations in genes relevant to the human disease may be useful for understanding pathogenesis of the disease and testing new therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012


  • Pten
  • c-MYC
  • p53
  • prostate cancer
  • rate of mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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