Current theories of breast cancer progression have been greatly influenced by the development and refinement of mouse transgenic and gene targeting technologies. Early transgenic mouse models confirmed the involvement of oncogenes, previously implicated in human breast cancer, by establishing a causal relationship between overexpression or activation of these genes and mammary tumorigenesis. More recently, the importance of genes located at sites of loss of heterozygosity in human breast cancer have been examined in mice by their targeted disruption via homologous recombination. The union of these two approaches allows the generation of complex animal models that more accurately reflect the multistep nature of human breast cancer. This review will examine how the study of transgenic mice has increased our understanding of the molecular events responsible for oncogenic transformation of the mammary gland. BioEssays 22:554-563, 2000.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.