The Landscape of Chromosomal Aberrations in Breast Cancer Mouse Models Reveals Driver-Specific Routes to Tumorigenesis

Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 4;7:12160. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12160.


Aneuploidy and copy-number alterations (CNAs) are a hallmark of human cancer. Although genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are commonly used to model human cancer, their chromosomal landscapes remain underexplored. Here we use gene expression profiles to infer CNAs in 3,108 samples from 45 mouse models, providing the first comprehensive catalogue of chromosomal aberrations in cancer GEMMs. Mining this resource, we find that most chromosomal aberrations accumulate late during breast tumorigenesis, and observe marked differences in CNA prevalence between mouse mammary tumours initiated with distinct drivers. Some aberrations are recurrent and unique to specific GEMMs, suggesting distinct driver-dependent routes to tumorigenesis. Synteny-based comparison of mouse and human tumours narrows critical regions in CNAs, thereby identifying candidate driver genes. We experimentally validate that loss of Stratifin (SFN) promotes HER2-induced tumorigenesis in human cells. These results demonstrate the power of GEMM CNA analysis to inform the pathogenesis of human cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins / metabolism
  • Aneuploidy
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / genetics*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Species Specificity


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Sfn protein, mouse
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2