A new mouse model to study the role of ectopic Nanos3 expression in cancer

Vanessa Andries 1, 2 Evi de Keuckelaere 1, 2, 3 Katrien Staes 1, 2 Tino Hochepied 1, 2 Joachim Taminau 2, 3 Kelly Lemeire 1, 2 Philippe Birembaut 4 Geert Berx 2, 3 Frans van Roy 1, 2, *
* Corresponding author
4 Department of Biopathology [Reims]
CHU Reims - Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Reims, P3CELL - Pathologies Pulmonaires et Plasticité Cellulaire - UMR-S 1250
Abstract : BACKGROUND: NANOS3 is a gene conserved throughout evolution. Despite the quite low conservation of Nanos sequences between different organisms and even between Nanos paralogs, their role in germ cell development is remarkably universal. Human Nanos3 expression is normally restricted to the gonads and the brain. However, ectopic activation of this gene has been detected in various human cancers. Until now, Nanos3 and other Nanos proteins have been studied almost exclusively in germ cell development. METHODS: Transgenic mice were generated by targeted insertion of a human Nanos3 cDNA into the ROSA26 locus. The transgene could be spatiotemporally induced by Cre recombinase activity removing an upstream floxed STOP cassette. A lung tumor model with ectopic Nanos3 expression was based on the lung-specific activation of the reverse tetracycline transactivator gene, in combination with a tetO-CMV promoter controlling Cre expression. When doxycycline was provided to the mice, Cre was activated leading to deletion of TP53 alleles and activation of both oncogenic KRasG12D and Nanos3. Appropriate controls were foreseen. Tumors and tumor-derived cell cultures were analyzed in various ways. RESULTS: We describe the successful generation of Nanos3LSL/- and Nanos3LSL/LSL mice in which an exogenous human NANOS3 gene can be activated in vivo upon Cre expression. These mice, in combination with different conditional and doxycycline-inducible Cre lines, allow the study of the role of ectopic Nanos3 expression in several cancer types. The Nanos3LSL mice were crossed with a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mouse model based on conditional expression of oncogenic KRas and homozygous loss of p53. This experiment demonstrated that ectopic expression of Nanos3 in the lungs has a significant negative effect on survival. Enhanced bronchiolar dysplasia was observed when Nanos3-expressing NSCLC mice were compared with control NSCLC mice. An allograft experiment, performed with cell cultures derived from primary lung tumors of control and Nanos3-expressing NSCLC mice, revealed lymph node metastasis in mice injected with Nanos3-expressing NSCLC cells. CONCLUSIONS: A new mouse model was generated allowing examination of Nanos3-associated pathways and investigation of the influence of ectopic Nanos3 expression in various cancer types. This model might identify Nanos3 as an interesting target in cancer therapeutics.
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Vanessa Andries, Evi de Keuckelaere, Katrien Staes, Tino Hochepied, Joachim Taminau, et al.. A new mouse model to study the role of ectopic Nanos3 expression in cancer. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2019, 19 (1), pp.598. ⟨10.1186/s12885-019-5807-x⟩. ⟨inserm-02296488⟩

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