Conditional inactivation of Brca1, p53 and Rb in mouse ovaries results in the development of leiomyosarcomas

PLoS One. 2009 Dec 31;4(12):e8534. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008534.


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is thought to arise in part from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE); however, the molecular events underlying this transformation are poorly understood. Germline mutations in the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene result in a significantly increased risk of developing EOC and a large proportion of sporadic EOCs display some sort of BRCA1 dysfunction. To generate a model in which Brca1-mediated transformation can be studied, we previously inactivated Brca1 alone in murine OSE, which resulted in an increased accumulation of premalignant changes, but no tumor formation. In this study, we examined tumor formation in mice with conditionally expressed alleles of Brca1, p53 and Rb, alone or in combination. Intrabursal injection of adenovirus expressing Cre recombinase to inactivate p53 resulted in tumors in 100% of mice. Tumor progression was accelerated in mice with concomitant inactivation of Brca1 and p53, but not Rb and p53. Immunohistologic analyses classified the tumors as leiomyosarcomas that may be arising from the ovarian bursa. Brca1 inactivation in primary cultures of murine OSE cells led to a suppression of proliferation that could be rescued by concomitant inactivation of p53 and/or Rb. Brca1-deficient OSE cells displayed an increased sensitivity to the DNA damaging agent cisplatin, and this effect could be modulated by inactivation of p53 and/or Rb. These results indicate that Brca1 deficiency can accelerate tumor development and alter the sensitivity of OSE cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Intrabursal delivery of adenovirus intended to alter gene expression in the ovarian surface epithelium may, in some strains of mice, result in more rapid transformation of adjacent cells, resulting in leiomyosarcomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Leiomyosarcoma / genetics*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / metabolism
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Mice
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / pathology*
  • Recombination, Genetic / drug effects
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • Cisplatin