Primary liver cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, are leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Recent large-scale genomic approaches have identified a wide number of genes whose deregulation is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma development. Murine models are critical tools to determine the oncogenic potential of these genes. Conventionally, transgenic or knockout mouse models are used for this purpose. However, several limitations apply to the latter models. Herein, we review a novel approach for stable gene expression in mouse hepatocytes by hydrodynamic injection in combination with Sleeping Beauty-mediated somatic integration. This method represents a flexible, reliable, and cost-effective tool to generate preclinical murine models for liver cancer research. Furthermore, it can be used as an in vivo transfection method to study biochemical cross talks among multiple pathways along hepatocarcinogenesis and to test the therapeutic potential of drugs against liver cancer.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.