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Mutat Res. 2005 Dec 11;591(1-2):103-9. Epub 2005 Aug 8.

A mouse model of the fragile gene FHIT: From carcinogenesis to gene therapy and cancer prevention.

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  • 1Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, 400 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH, USA.


Mouse models of tumor suppressors are increasingly useful to investigate biomedical aspects of cancer genetics. Some tumor suppressor genes are located at common fragile sites that are specific chromosomal regions highly susceptible to DNA lesions. The tumor suppressor gene FHIT, at the fragile site FRA3B, is the first fragile gene with a developed and characterized mouse knockout model. The human gene FHIT is frequently deleted in cancers and cancer cell lines of many epithelial tissues, and Fhit protein is absent or reduced in most cancers. The mouse Fhit ortholog is also located at a common fragile site, Fra14A2 on murine chromosome 14, and sustains homozygous deletions in murine cancer cell lines. The Fhit knockout mouse is, therefore, an adequate model to study human FHIT function. To establish an animal model and to explore the role of FHIT in tumorigenesis, we have developed a mouse strain carrying one or two inactivated Fhit alleles. Insights into Fhit mouse genetics that have emerged in the last 7 years, and are reviewed in the present article, allowed for development of new tools in carcinogenesis and gene delivery studies.

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