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Mol Cancer. 2010 Apr 23;9:86. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-86.

A retroviral mutagenesis screen identifies Cd74 as a common insertion site in murine B-lymphomas and reveals the existence of a novel IFNgamma-inducible Cd74 isoform.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK-8000, Denmark.



Insertional mutagenesis screens in the mouse are an acknowledged approach to identify genes involved in the pathogenesis of cancer. The potential of these screens to identify genes causally involved in tumorigenesis is not only limited to the murine host, but many of these genes have also been proven to be involved in the oncogenic process in man.


Through an insertional mutagenesis screen applying murine leukemia viruses in mouse, we found that Cd74 was targeted by proviral insertion in tumors of B-cell origin. This locus encodes a protein playing crucial roles in antigen presentation and B-cell homeostasis, and its deregulation is often associated with cancer in man. The distribution of insertions within the Cd74 locus prompted the identification of an alternative transcript initiated in intron 1 of Cd74 encoding an N-terminally truncated Cd74 isoform in tissues from un-infected mice, and transcriptional activation assays revealed a positive effect on the novel intronic promoter by a formerly described intronic enhancer in the Cd74 locus. Furthermore, we show that the new Cd74 isoform is IFNgamma inducible and that its expression is differentially regulated from the canonical Cd74 isoform at the transcriptional level.


We here identify Cd74 as a common insertion site in murine B-lymphomas and describe a novel IFNgamma-inducible murine Cd74 isoform differentially regulated from the canonical isoform and expressed under the control of an intronic promoter. The distribution and orientation of proviral insertion sites within the Cd74 locus underscores the causal involvement of the isoforms in the murine B-lymphomagenic process.

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