To investigate the role of an activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation in lung cancer, we generated transgenic mice expressing the delE748-A752 mutant version of mouse EGFR driven by the SP-C promoter, which is equivalent to the delE746-A750 mutation found in lung cancer patients. Strikingly, the mice invariably developed multifocal lung adenocarcinomas of varying sizes at between 5 and 6 weeks of age, and they died from tumor progression approximately 2 months later if left untreated. Daily oral administration of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) gefitinib (5 mg/kg/day) reduced the total and phosphorylation levels of EGFR to those in wild-type mouse lung tissue; in addition, it abrogated tumor growth within 1 week and prolonged survival to >30 weeks. Interestingly, phosphorylated ErbB2, ErbB3, and thyroid transcriptional factor-1 increased in the transgenic mice compared with those in wild-type mice. They might play some roles in tumors progression in the transgenic mice. This model will be useful for studying the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, chemoprevention, and acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs in lung cancer patients carrying activating EGFR mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research