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Oncogene. 2006 Mar 9;25(10):1543-53.

Elevated levels of ornithine decarboxylase cooperate with Raf/ERK activation to convert normal keratinocytes into invasive malignant cells.

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Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA.


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) overexpression coupled with activated Ras is fully sufficient to oncogenically transform primary keratinocytes. To determine the Ras effector pathways that represent the minimal essential contribution to full oncogenic transformation in this context, we evaluated the cooperativity of different Ras effector mutants with overexpressed ODC in an in vivo tracheal xenotransplantation assay for epithelial cell invasiveness. Primary keratinocytes, isolated from either K6/ODC transgenic mouse skin (expressing increased ODC) or from normal littermate skin were infected with retrovirus producing an activated RasV12 or partial loss-of-function effector mutants of RasV12 that selectively induce only the Raf/ERK, RalGDS, or the PI3-kinase signaling pathway. Whereas keratinocytes expressing a fully activated RasV12 are not invasive in tracheal xenotransplants, ODC-overexpressing keratinocytes acquire an invasive phenotype with additional expression of either RasV12 or activation of the Raf/ERK pathway. Independent of a mutated ras, elevated levels of ODC activate the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway as well as the Rho/Rac pathway in primary keratinocytes. Thus, Raf/ERK signaling is sufficient to cooperate with increased ODC activity in the conversion of normal keratinocytes to invasive cells. In order to promote invasiveness in keratinocytes, elevated levels of ODC may cooperate with Raf/ERK via activation of the Akt and Rho/Rac signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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