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Mamm Genome. 2012 Apr;23(3-4):277-85. doi: 10.1007/s00335-011-9380-0. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Scram1 is a modifier of spinal cord resistance for astrocytoma on mouse Chr 5.

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Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, National Cancer Institute, West 7th St. at Fort Detrick, P.O. Box B, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Tumor location can profoundly affect morbidity and patient prognosis, even for the same tumor type. Very little is known about whether tumor location is determined stochastically or whether genetic risk factors can affect where tumors arise within an organ system. We have taken advantage of the Nf1-/+;Trp53-/+cis mouse model of astrocytoma/glioblastoma to map genetic loci affecting whether astrocytomas are found in the spinal cord. We identify a locus on distal Chr 5, termed Scram1 for spinal cord resistance to astrocytoma modifier 1, with a LOD score of 5.0 and a genome-wide significance of P < 0.004. Mice heterozygous for C57BL/6J×129S4/SvJae at this locus show less astrocytoma in the spinal cord compared to 129S4/SvJae homozygous mice, although we have shown previously that 129S4/SvJae mice are more resistant to astrocytoma than C57BL/6J. Furthermore, the astrocytomas that are found in the spinal cord of Scram1 heterozygous mice arise in older mice. Because spinal cord astrocytomas are very rare and difficult to treat, a better understanding of the genetic factors that govern astrocytoma in the spine may lead to new targets of therapy or prevention.

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