Loss of E-cadherin expression is a critical step in the development and progression of gynecological tumors. Study of the precise role of E-cadherin has been hampered by the lack of satisfactory mouse model for E-cadherin deficiency. Likewise, DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is implicated in gynecological tumorigenesis, but knockout of MMR in mice predominantly causes hematologic neoplasms. Here, we show that combined disruption of E-cadherin and DNA MMR pathways increases incidence of endometrioid tumors in mice. Twenty percent of mice knockout for Msh2 enzyme and hemizygous for E-cadherin [Msh2(-/-)/Cdh1(+/-)] developed endometrioid-like tumors in the ovary, uterus and genital area. Characteristic of these tumors was a complete loss of E-cadherin expression. Sequence analysis of E-cadherin promoter region demonstrated that the loss of E-cadherin expression is caused by inactivating mutations, implying that E-cadherin is a mutational target in Msh2-deficient mice. In addition, Msh2(-/-)/Cdh1(+/-) mice showed a reduction in overall survival as compared with their Msh2(-/-) counterparts due to the development of more aggressive lymphomas, suggesting a specific role of E-cadherin in lymphomagenesis. In conclusion, Msh2(-/-)/Cdh1(+/-) mice provide a good model of gynecological tumorigenesis and may be useful for testing molecular target-specific therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research