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J Comp Pathol. 2006 Jul;135(1):1-10. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

In-situ demonstration of mitogen-activated protein kinase Erk 1/2 signalling pathway in contagious respiratory tumours of sheep and goats.

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  • 1Departamento de Patología Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain. lasheras@unizar.es


Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) and enzootic nasal adenocarcinoma (ENA) are two contagious neoplastic diseases of secretory epithelial cells in the respiratory system of sheep and goats. Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) is the aetiological agent of OPA, and enzootic nasal tumour virus (ENTV) is associated with ENA. The genomes of these retroviruses do not contain known oncogenes but products of the env gene are important in the generation of transforming stimuli. However, the cell signalling pathways activated in vivo are not completely understood. This study was based on the use of activation stage antibodies specifically detecting proteins of the extracellular signal regulated kinase Erk 1/2 cell signalling pathway and transcription factors. Tissue sections were collected from four natural cases of OPA, four experimentally induced OPA tumours, four ENA tumours in sheep, four ENA tumours in goats, two normal sheep lungs and two lungs with chronic inflammation. Routine immunohistochemical procedures with phosphorylation stage-specific antibodies were carried out. Representative proteins of the Erk1/2 pathway (Raf-1, Mek1/2 and p44/42MAPK) were activated in natural cases of OPA and ENA in sheep and goats and also in experimentally induced OPA. Transcription factors 90Rsk and Elk-1 were activated in OPA and ENA tumours. However, c-Myc was activated only in OPA tumours. In contagious respiratory neoplasms of sheep and goats the Erk1/2 pathway appears to be important for the in-vivo generation of the transforming stimuli.

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