Most human tumors arise from self-renewing cells of epithelial tissues. Tumors in the lung are the most deadly, with a projected 152,000 deaths in 2003 in the US alone. A strong genetic component contributes to lung cancer risk, as shown by evidence of familial clustering, and the fact that only 10-20% of smokers develop lung cancer. Identification of genetic variants that confer susceptibility to lung cancer will enable prediction of individual risk, and facilitate the development of novel therapeutic or preventive agents. A particular species of mouse (Mus spretus) is genetically resistant to development of lung cancer, due to the presence of germline polymorphisms that confer resistance. Crosses between sensitive and resistant mouse strains will be used in a genetic approach to identify lung tumor resistance genes. This analysis will be facilitated by the availability of an extensive database and tissue/tumor bank derived from a large backcross between the lung tumor-susceptible KrasM2 mice on the FVB background, with the resistant Mus spretus species. Data are already available both on the genomic changes associated with lung cancer initiation and progression, and on the genetic basis of lung cancer susceptibility. These data have implicated the Kras2 gene as a major determinant of lung tumor development and susceptibility. This particular ras gene family member is frequently mutated in both human and mouse lung tumors, and is one of the candidates for the major mouse lung tumor susceptibility locus Past. Two engineered mouse models will be used to test the role of Kras2 in lung tumor development and susceptibility. One involves a knock-in of a mutant Kras2 allele into the endogenous locus (/

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Cancer Genetics Study Section (CG)
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Okano, Paul
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University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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