MMTV-EGF receptor transgene promotes preneoplastic conversion of multiple steroid hormone-responsive tissues

J Cell Biochem. 2008 Apr 15;103(6):2010-8. doi: 10.1002/jcb.21591.


Correlative analyses of tumors and patient-derived cell lines of the human reproductive system suggest that overexpression of EGF contributes to the oncogenic phenotype. However, it is unclear at what stage in disease overexpression of the EGFR is most critical. To assess its role as an initiator of reproductive tissue tumor development, transgenic mice were derived with mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-regulated overexpression of the human EGFR. Although elevated expression of the EGFR in hormonally responsive tissues was observed, only one EGFR transgenic mouse developed a visible tumor over a 2-year period. However, of 12 females monitored over the same time, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, or slight dysplasia was found in mammary glands of 55% of the animals examined, in the uterus or uterine horn of 89%, and in ovaries or oviducts of 100%. None of the reproductive tissues of the male transgenic animals or age-matched, normal mice displayed these changes. These results revealed a role for the EGFR in the initiation of ovarian and uterine cancer and supported previous studies in breast cancer that the receptor can contribute to the neoplastic process in a significant albeit incremental way.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / biosynthesis*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / pathology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology
  • Uterus / metabolism
  • Uterus / pathology


  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors