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Breast Cancer Res. 2000;2(3):211-6. Epub 2000 Apr 12.

Tyrosine kinase signalling in breast cancer: tyrosine kinase-mediated signal transduction in transgenic mouse models of human breast cancer.

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Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The ability of growth factors and their cognate receptors to induce mammary epithelial proliferation and differentiation is dependent on their ability to activate a number of specific signal transduction pathways. Aberrant expression of specific receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) has been implicated in the genesis of a significant proportion of sporadic human breast cancers. Indeed, mammary epithelial expression of activated RTKs such as ErbB2/neu in transgenic mice has resulted in the efficient induction of metastatic mammary tumours. Although it is clear from these studies that activation these growth factor receptor signalling cascades are directly involved in mammary tumour progression, the precise interaction of each of these signalling pathways in mammary tumourigenesis and metastasis remains to be elucidated. The present review focuses on the role of several specific signalling pathways that have been implicated as important components in RTK-mediated signal transduction. In particular, it focuses on two well characterized transgenic breast cancer models that carry the polyomavirus middle T(PyV mT) and neu oncogenes.

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