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Genes involved in the metastatic cascade of medullary thyroid tumours

Item Type:Article
Title:Genes involved in the metastatic cascade of medullary thyroid tumours
Creators Name:Schreiber, C. and Vormbrock, K. and Ziebold, U.
Abstract:The process of how a benign tumour turns invasive and capable to survive in distant organs remains poorly understood, despite the evidence that metastasis formation is the primary cause of cancer patient mortality. This ignorance is partly due to the lack of appropriate animal models from which to investigate this complex process. The retinoblastoma (Rb) tumour suppressor pathway (pRb/E2F) is mutated in almost all human tumours, and a number of laboratories have now established pRb- or E2F-deficient mouse models. Consistent with the role of mutation in retinoblastoma in cancer biology, Rb heterozygous mice are prone to develop tumours. Among the ensuing tumours, the medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs) have a lessened tendency to form secondary cancers and metastases. Intriguingly, if an E2f3 mutation is introduced in this genetic background, more aggressive MTCs develop, which metastasize more frequently. Gene chip microarrays, however, provide an unbiased approach for examining the genome-wide expression levels and enable identification of a large set of metastasis-enriched gene sets. The identified genes may simply represent putative markers of the disease stage. Alternatively, genes may be identified that causally determine a link to the onset of metastasis. We describe the use of gene chip microarrays for identification of putative markers enriched in metastatic mouse MTCs. The chapter details how the most promising candidates are verified using additional methods, such as quantitative real-time PCR. In this case, co-transfection of the E2F-transcription factor using a heterologous reporter gene system is suggestive of E2Fs directly regulating putative metastasis markers.
Keywords:Retinoblastoma Tumour Suppressor Protein, E2F, Metastasis, Vimentin, Microarray, Luciferase Assay, Quantitative Real-Time PCR, Animals, Mice
Source:Methods in Molecular Biology
Series Name:Methods in Molecular Biology
Title of Book:Metastasis research protocols
Publisher:Springer / Humana Press
Page Range:217-228
Number of Pages:274
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-61779-854-2_14
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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