Transgenic mice that allow mutant cells to be visualized in situ were used to study variation in tumors. These mice carry the G11 placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) transgene, a mutant allele rendered incapable of producing its enzyme product by a frameshift caused by insertion of a tract of G:C base pairs in a coding region. Spontaneous deletion of one G:C base pair from this tract restores gene function, and cells with PLAP activity can be detected histochemically. To study tumors, the G11 PLAP transgene was introduced into the polyoma virus middle T antigen mammary tumor model. Tumors in these mice exhibited up to 300 times more PLAP+ cells than normal tissues. PLAP+ cells were located throughout each tumor. Many of the PLAP + cells were singlets, but clusters also were common, with one cluster containing >30,000 cells. Comparison of these data to simulations produced by computer models suggested that multiple factors were involved in generating mutant cells in tumors. Although genetic instability appeared to have occurred in most tumors, large clusters were much more common than expected based on instability alone.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 15 2005|
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