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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009 Feb;2(2):175-84. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0104. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

Identification of modulated genes by three classes of chemopreventive agents at preneoplastic stages in a p53-null mouse mammary tumor model.

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Department of Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville, Texas 78957, USA.


Genetically engineered mouse cancer models are among the most useful tools for testing the in vivo effectiveness of the various chemopreventive approaches. The p53-null mouse model of mammary carcinogenesis was previously characterized by us at the cellular, molecular, and pathologic levels. In a companion article, Medina et al. analyzed the efficacy of bexarotene, gefitinib, and celecoxib as chemopreventive agents in the same model. Here we report the global gene expression effects on mammary epithelium of such compounds, analyzing the data in light of their effectiveness as chemopreventive agents. SAGE was used to profile the transcriptome of p53-null mammary epithelium obtained from mice treated with each compound versus controls. This information was also compared with SAGE data from p53-null mouse mammary tumors. Gene expression changes induced by the chemopreventive treatments revealed a common core of 87 affected genes across treatments (P < 0.05). The effective compounds, bexarotene and gefitinib, may exert their chemopreventive activity, at least in part, by affecting a set of 34 genes related to specific cellular pathways. The gene expression signature revealed various genes previously described to be associated with breast cancer, such as the activator protein-1 complex member Fos-like antigen 2 (Fosl2), early growth response 1 (Egr1), gelsolin (Gsn), and tumor protein translationally controlled 1 (Tpt1), among others. The concerted modulation of many of these transcripts before malignant transformation seems to be conducive to predominantly decrease cell proliferation. This study has revealed candidate key pathways that can be experimentally tested in the same model system and may constitute novel targets for future translational research.

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