Three carcinoma-associated oncogenes, two of which have been strongly implicated in human mammary tumorigenesis, have been introduced into a novel mouse mammary epithelial cell line, EF43, that retains many differentiated functions. The effect of oncogene expression upon classical transformation parameters as well as parameters specific for mammary epithelial cells such as growth in three-dimensional collagen matrices and the ability to repopulate the cleared mammary fat pad and to form alveolar structures in vivo has been investigated. Expression of v-myc in EF43 cells results in no obvious phenotypic changes, and does not confer tumorigenic potential upon the cells. Expression of v-Ha-ras confers upon EF43 cells the ability to grow rapidly, grow in an anchorage-independent manner, results in tumor formation in nude and syngeneic animals, abolishes their ability to repopulate the mammary gland and, instead, results in rapid induction of anaplastic tumors. The v-mil oncogene, an avian homolog of the mouse v-mht and human c-raf oncogenes, previously thought to be non-transforming in the absence of a co-operating oncogene, transforms EF43 cells, allowing them to grow in an anchorage-independent manner, form tumors in nude mice and abolishes their ability to repopulate the cleared mammary fat pad. In contrast to v-ras, however, the tumors arising from v-mil expression have a differentiated morphology, typical of adenocarcinomas. Thus, different oncogenes show varying degrees of inhibition of the differentiation of mammary epithelial cells in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research