Development of mammary adenocarcinomas by tissue-specific knockout of Brca2 in mice

Oncogene. 2001 Jul 5;20(30):3937-48. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1204512.


Cre-mediated deletion of exons 3 and 4 of the mouse Brca2 gene occurring specifically in mammary epithelial cells of conditional female mutants carrying a combination of loxP-modified and null Brca2 alleles resulted in a high incidence (77%) of breast tumors that were often palpable and developed in one or more glands after long latency (time for median tumor-free survival of approximately 1.4 years; total of 40 tumors in 20 animals). These invasive adenocarcinomas were histologically quite uniform, exhibiting predominantly a solid, nodular tumor pattern with very few variants, in striking contrast to the morphological heterogeneity of analogous Brca1-associated tumors. The karyotypes of tumor cells lacking Brca2 had various chromosomal aberrations and ranged from diploid to hypertetraploid, but this wide variability was incongruous with the histological appearance of carcinomas that was comparable between specimens. The implications of these observations in the context of models positing that Brca2 is involved in the maintenance of genomic stability are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Age Factors
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins / deficiency
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Viral Proteins
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U38816