Insights from mouse models into human retinoblastoma

Cell Div. 2008 May 19;3:9. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-3-9.


Novel murine models of retinoblastoma based on Rb gene deletion in concert with inactivation of Rb family members have recently been developed. These new Rb knockout models of retinoblastoma provide excellent tools for pre-clinical studies and for the exploration of the genetics of tumorigenesis driven by RB inactivation. This review focuses on the developmental consequences of Rb deletion in the retina and the genetic interactions between Rb and the two other members of the pocket protein family, p107 (Rbl1) and p130 (Rbl2). There is increasing appreciation that homozygous RB mutations are insufficient for human retinoblastoma. Identifying and understanding secondary gene alterations that cooperate with RB inactivation in tumorigenesis may be facilitated by mouse models. Recent investigation of the p53 pathway in retinoblastoma, and evidence of spatial topology to early murine retinoblastoma are also discussed in this review.