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1.  Systemic activation of K-ras rapidly induces gastric hyperplasia and metaplasia in mice 
Mouse models with conditional activation of K-ras (K-rasG12D) are used widely to investigate the role of oncogenic K-ras in a tissue-specific manner. However, the effect of ubiquitous activation of K-ras in adult mice has not been well studied. Herein, we report that systemic activation of K-ras in mice leads to rapid changes in gastric cellular homeostasis. Conditional activation of K-ras results in activation of the MAPK pathway and hyperproliferation of squamous epithelium in the forestomach and metaplasia in the glandular stomach. Parietal cells almost completely disappear from the upper part of the stomach adjacent to forestomach of K-ras activated mice. CDX2, a caudal-related homeobox transcription factor normally expressed in the intestine, is upregulated in parts of the stomach, following activation of K-ras in mice. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), a mediator of inflammation, is also upregulated in parts of the stomach of the K-ras activated mice with concomitant infiltration of hematopoietic cells in the hyperplastic tissue. Moreover, in K-ras activated mice, the expression of putative progenitor cell marker Dcamkl1 is upregulated in the glandular stomach. Expression of CD44, a candidate stomach cancer stem cell marker, is also increased in forestomach and the glandular stomach. These results suggest that cells of the stomach, potentially stem or progenitor cells, are highly susceptible to K-ras activation-induced initiation of gastric precancerous lesions. The histological changes in the K-ras activated mice resemble the pre-neoplastic changes that take place during gastric carcinogenesis in humans. Thus, a mouse model with systemic K-rasG12D activation could be useful for studying the early molecular events leading to gastric carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3134228  PMID: 21761008
K-ras; intestinal metaplasia; gastric stem cells; Dcamkl1; CD44
2.  Menin represses tumorigenesis via repressing cell proliferation 
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) results from mutations in the tumor suppressor gene, MEN1, which encodes nuclear protein menin. Menin is important for suppressing tumorigenesis in various endocrine and certain non-endocrine tissues. Although menin suppresses MEN1 through a variety of mechanisms including regulating apoptosis and DNA repair, the role of menin in regulating cell proliferation is one of the best-studied functions. Here, we focus on reviewing various mechanisms underlying menin-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation. Menin inhibits cell proliferation to repress MEN1 through multiple mechanisms. 1) Menin interacts with various histonemodifying enzymes, such as MLL, EZH2 and HDACs, to affect gene transcription, leading to repression of cell proliferation. 2) Menin also interacts with various transcription factors, such as JunD, NF-κB, PPARγ and VDR, to induce or suppress gene transcription. As these various transcription factors are known to regulate cell proliferation, their interaction with menin may be relevant to menin's role in inhibiting cell proliferation. 3) Menin inhibits cell proliferation via TGF-β signaling and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. 4) Menin represses certain pro-proliferative factors involved in endocrine tumors such as IGFBP-2, IGF2 and PTHrP to repress cell proliferation. 5) Menin affects cell cycle progression to inhibit cell proliferation. This review is helpful in our understanding of the comprehensive mechanisms whereby menin represses MEN1 through inhibiting cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3195934  PMID: 22016823
Menin; cell proliferation; gene transcription; epigenetics; cell cycle
3.  Systemic activation of K-ras rapidly induces gastric hyperplasia and metaplasia in mice 
Mouse models with conditional activation of K-ras (K-rasG12D) are used widely to investigate the role of oncogenic K-ras in a tissue-specific manner. However, the effect of ubiquitous activation of K-ras in adult mice has not been well studied. Herein, we report that systemic activation of K-ras in mice leads to rapid changes in gastric cellular homeostasis. Conditional activation of K-ras results in activation of the MAPK pathway and hyperproliferation of squamous epithelium in the forestomach and metaplasia in the glandular stomach. Parietal cells almost completely disappear from the upper part of the stomach adjacent to forestomach of K-ras activated mice. CDX2, a caudal-related homeobox transcription factor normally expressed in the intestine, is upregulated in parts of the stomach, following activation of K-ras in mice. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), a mediator of inflammation, is also upregulated in parts of the stomach of the K-ras activated mice with concomitant infiltration of hematopoietic cells in the hyperplastic tissue. Moreover, in K-ras activated mice, the expression of putative progenitor cell marker Dcamkl1 is upregulated in the glandular stomach. Expression of CD44, a candidate stomach cancer stem cell marker, is also increased in forestomach and the glandular stomach. These results suggest that cells of the stomach, potentially stem or progenitor cells, are highly susceptible to K-ras activation-induced initiation of gastric precancerous lesions. The histological changes in the K-ras activated mice resemble the pre-neoplastic changes that take place during gastric carcinogenesis in humans. Thus, a mouse model with systemic K-rasG12D activation could be useful for studying the early molecular events leading to gastric carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3134228  PMID: 21761008
K-ras; intestinal metaplasia; gastric stem cells; Dcamkl1; CD44

Results 1-3 (3)