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J Pathol. 2008 Feb;214(3):302-11.

A mouse model of a human multiple GIST family with KIT-Asp820Tyr mutation generated by a knock-in strategy.

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Department of Surgical Pathology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


Several families exhibiting multiple gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) and germline c-kit gene mutations at exons 8, 11, 13, or 17 have been reported. These patients also exhibit diffuse hyperplasia of the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) as a pre-existing lesion of multiple GISTs. We generated a mouse model of a family with germline c-kit gene mutation at exon 17, and compared the phenotypes between the mice and humans. The mouse counterpart (KIT-Asp818Tyr) of the human KIT-Asp820Tyr mutation was transmitted into germline by a knock-in strategy. Mating of male and female heterozygotes (KIT-Asp818Tyr/+) resulted in the generation of homozygotes (KIT-Asp818Tyr/KIT-Asp818Tyr). Histological examination revealed that all heterozygotes had both a small KIT-positive mesenchymal tumour at the caecum, consistent with GIST, and KIT-positive diffuse spindle-shaped cell proliferation in the distal oesophagus, stomach, proximal duodenum, and colon consistent with ICC hyperplasia. All homozygotes exhibited a larger caecal tumour and more prominent spindle-shaped cell proliferation compared with the heterozygous mice, and they usually died within 10 weeks after birth, likely due to ileus. The small intestine of both genotypes showed no apparent morphological abnormality, and autonomous contraction of the ileal segments appeared normal. Western blotting demonstrated that the caecal tumours expressed phosphorylated KIT, MAPK, Stat1, and Stat5. These mutant mice are considered to be useful for further investigation of the mechanism of GIST development as a result of ICC hyperplasia and for assessment of the in vivo effects of drugs against molecular targets.

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