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Cancer Biol Ther. 2006 Dec;5(12):1658-64. Epub 2006 Dec 7.

Role of c-Myc in intestinal tumorigenesis of the ApcMin/+ mouse.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724, USA.


The c-MYC oncogene plays an important role in tumorigenesis and is commonly highly expressed in gastrointestinal cancers. In colon cells, c-MYC is regulated by the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) tumor suppressor gene. Multiple intestinal neoplasia (ApcMin/+ or Min) mice are heterozygous for a truncating Apc mutation and serve as a model of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) disease. To study the role of c-Myc in the mutant Apc-mediated colon tumorigenesis, we have developed a transgenic mouse with the conditional deletion of the floxed c-Myc alleles in the intestinal crypts of ApcMin/+ mice (ApcMin/+; c-Mycfl/fl). The floxed c-Myc deletion was initiated via a Cre recombinase controlled by the intestine-specific transcriptional regulatory elements of the liver fatty acid-binding protein gene (Fabpl4xat-132). Fabpl4xat-132-mediated Cre expression and recombination resulted in a two-fold decrease in c-MYC protein expression with no effect on intestinal tract morphology. Small intestinal tumorigenesis was significantly suppressed throughout the small intestinal tract of ApcMin/+; c-Mycfl/fl mice compared to c-Myc wild type littermates. In ApcMin/+; c-Mycfl/fl mice, the intestinal apoptosis was higher in the areas of the small intestine with the decreased c-Myc protein expression (P=0.0016, compared to their littermates with the wild type c-Myc). Thus, conditional inactivation of c-Myc, mediated by Fabpl4xat-132-driven Cre-recombinase, suppresses Apc-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis in adult ApcMin/+ mice, without apparent effect on normal intestinal mucosa.

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