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Oncogene. 1996 Apr 18;12(8):1821-6.

Development of thyroid papillary carcinomas secondary to tissue-specific expression of the RET/PTC1 oncogene in transgenic mice.

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Centro di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale del CNR, Napoli- Italy.


Gene rearrangements activating the RET proto-oncogene are frequently associated with human thyroid carcinomas belonging to the papillary subtype. These arrangements cause the fusion of the tyrosine-kinase domain of RET to the 5'-terminal region of different genes creating the RET/PTC chimeric oncogenes. Here we report the generation of transgenic mice lines expressing the RET/PTC1 oncogene under the control of the thyroid-specific rat thyroglobulin promoter. RET/PTC1-transgenic mice developed thyroid tumors displaying the histological aspect of papillary carcinomas. These tumors were slowly progressive and did not cause premature death of the animals. Two additional mice developed areas of thyroid hyperplasia. Immunohistochemical and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed the thyroid-specific expression of the transgene. Given the frequency of activating rearrangements of RET in human papillary thyroid carcinomas we conclude that this animal system could be a good model for studying the neoplastic progression of thyroid carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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