Proliferation and Neoplastic Transformation of Pigment Cells in Metallothionein/ret Transgenic Mice


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8 Citations (Scopus)


Although melanoma is a common human disease, there were few animal models in which melanoma developed at high incidence. To date, the Xiphophorus fish has been used as a model system to study melanoma formation. Studies on this fish showed the presence of a dominant oncogene, Tu, which encodes a transmembrane, tyrosine kinase of epidermal growth factor receptor type (Wittbrodt et al., Nature, 341:415–421, 1989). Recently, we succeeded in establishing novel transgenic mouse lines in which melanosis and melanocytic tumors developed stepwise by introducing another transmembrane tyrosine kinase oncogene, ret (Iwamoto et al., EMBO J., 10:3167–3175, 1991). In our transgenic mice, high levels of expression of the ret transgene induced proliferation and neoplastic transformation of melanin‐producing cells. In addition, crossbreeding experiments between transgenic mice and Wv mice showed that the ret oncogene can also induce melanogenesis and melanocyte development in Wv/Wv mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-347
Number of pages4
JournalPigment Cell Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11-1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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