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Cancer Lett. 2009 Jan 18;273(2):225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.08.012. Epub 2008 Sep 14.

Transgenic expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in mouse intestine epithelium is insufficient to initiate tumorigenesis but promotes tumor progression.

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Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, 2000 Circle of Hope, Rm 3365, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


We generated mice expressing a COX-2 transgene in colon epithelium and found that they did not develop spontaneous colon tumors. But when treated with azoxymethane, a colon carcinogen, COX-2 mice had a higher tumor load compared to wild-type mice. There was no change in the number of pre-neoplastic lesions, indicating that COX-2 does not affect tumor initiation. Tumors in the COX-2 transgenic mice had higher levels of phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor and Akt compared to wild-type mice. Collectively, our data indicate that COX-2 promotes colon tumor progression, but not initiation, and it does so, in part, by activating EGFR and Akt signaling pathways.

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