BMC Cancer 2015 December 18 [Link]
Robinson C, Dick IM, Wise M, Holloway A, Diyagama D, Robinson BW, Creaney J, Lake RA.
The MexTAg transgenic mouse model of mesothelioma replicates many aspects of human mesothelioma, including induction by asbestos, pathogenicity and response to cytotoxic chemotherapy, despite high levels of the SV40 large T Antigen (TAg) in the mesothelial compartment. This model enables analysis of the molecular events associated with asbestos induced mesothelioma and is utilised here to investigate the molecular dynamics of tumours induced in these mice, using gene expression patterns as a read out.
Gene expression of MexTAg mesothelioma cell lines bearing a high or low number of copies of the TAg transgene were compared to wild type mouse mesotheliomas and normal mouse mesothelial cells using Affymetrix microarray. These data were then compared to a similar published human microarray study using the same platform.
The main expression differences between transgenic mouse and wild type mouse mesotheliomas occurred for genes involved in cell cycle regulation and DNA replication, as would be expected from overexpression of the TAg oncogene. Quantitative PCR confirmed that E2F and E2F regulated genes were significantly more upregulated in MexTAg mesotheliomas and MexTAg mesothelial cells compared to wild type mesotheliomas. Like human mesothelioma, both MexTAg and wild type mesotheliomas had more genes underexpressed than overexpressed compared to normal mouse mesothelial cells. Most notably, the cdkn2 locus was deleted in the wild type mouse mesotheliomas, consistent with 80 % human mesotheliomas, however, this region was not deleted in MexTAg mesotheliomas. Regardless of the presence of TAg, all mouse mesotheliomas had a highly concordant set of deregulated genes compared to normal mesothelial cells that overlapped with the deregulated genes between human mesotheliomas and mesothelial cells.
This investigation demonstrates that the MexTAg mesotheliomas are comparable with wild type mouse mesotheliomas in their representation of human mesothelioma at the molecular level, with some key gene expression differences that are attributable to the TAg transgene expression. Of particular note, MexTAg mesothelioma development was not dependent on cdkn2 deletion.