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Mol Ther. 2004 Jun;9(6):775-85.

Novel mouse model for carcinoembryonic antigen-based therapy.

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Department of Biochemistry and McGill Cancer Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1Y6.


Many novel cancer therapies, including immunotherapy and gene therapy, are specifically targeted to tumor-associated molecules, among which carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) represents a popular example. Discrepancies between preclinical experimental data in animal models and clinical outcome in terms of therapeutic response and toxicity, however, often arise. Preclinical testing can be compromised by the lack of CEA and other closely related human CEA family members in rodents, which lack analogous genes for most human CEA family members. Here, we report the construction of a transgenic mouse with a 187-kb human bacterial artificial chromosome (CEABAC) that contains part of the human CEA family gene cluster including complete human CEA (CEACAM5), CEACAM3, CEACAM6, and CEACAM7 genes. The spatiotemporal expression pattern of these genes in the CEABAC mice was found to be remarkably similar to that of humans. This novel mouse will ensure better assessment than previously utilized models for the preclinical testing of CEA-targeted therapies and perhaps allow the testing of CEACAM6, which is overexpressed in many solid tumors and leukemias, as a therapeutic target. Moreover, expression of CEA family genes in gastrointestinal, breast, hematopoietic, urogenital, and respiratory systems could facilitate other clinical applications, such as the development of therapeutic agents against Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections, which use CEA family members as major receptors.

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