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Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Aug;6(8):1318-23. Epub 2007 May 29.

Development of a conditional bioluminescent transplant model for TPM3-ALK-induced tumorigenesis as a tool to validate ALK-dependent cancer targeted therapy.

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  • 1INSERM, U563, Centre de Physiopathologie de Toulouse Purpan, Toulouse, France.


Overexpression and activation of TPM3-ALK tyrosine kinase fusion protein is a causal oncogenic event in the development of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma and Inflammatory Myofibroblastic ALK-positive tumors. Thus, the development of ALK specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors is a current therapeutic challenge. Animal models are essential to assess, in vivo, the efficiency of ALK-oncogene inhibitors and to identify new and/or additional therapeutic targets in the ALK tumorigenesis pathway. Using the tetracycline system to allow conditional and concomitant TPM3-ALK and luciferase expression, we have developed a unique transplant model for bioluminescent TPM3-ALK-induced fibroblastic tumors in athymic nude mice. The reversible TPM3-ALK expression allowed us to demonstrate that this oncogene is essential for the tumor growth and its maintenance. In addition, we showed that this model could be used to precisely assess tumor growth inhibition upon ALK chemical inactivation. As proof of principle, we used the general tyrosine kinase inhibitor herbimycin A to inhibit ALK oncoprotein activity. As expected, herbimycin A treatment reduced tumor growth as assessed both by tumor volume measurement and bioluminescent imaging. We conclude that this transplant model for TPM3-ALK-induced tumors represents a valuable tool not only to accurately and rapidly evaluate in vivo ALK-targeted therapies but also to gain insight into the mechanism of ALK-positive tumor development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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