Activated ras genes have been frequently identified in both benign and malignant human tumors, including keratoacanthoma and squamous cell carcinoma. In this study, we developed two lines of transgenic rabbits in which the expression of EJras has been specifically targeted to the rabbit epidermal keratinocytes, using the upstream regulatory region of cottontail rabbit papillomavirus. All of the F1 transgenic progenies developed multiple keratoacanthomas at about 3 days after birth. The rabbits developed an average of 20 tumors, which usually reached the size of approximately 1 cm in diameter and then spontaneously regressed in about 2 months, similar to keratoacanthoma regression in humans. In addition, up to 18% of the rabbits then developed squamous cell carcinoma at about 5 months of age. The expression of EJras was detectable in all of the keratoacanthomas and squamous cell carcinomas. These results strongly support the involvement of the ras oncogene in both the initiation and regression of keratoacanthoma, and in the development of squamous cell carcinomas. These novel transgenic rabbits, with their consistent tumorigenic phenotype at an early age, high similarity to the human lesions, and easy accessibility for examination, manipulation, biopsy, and treatment, should provide a unique model system for studying ras activation-related tumor initiation, regression, and progression, and for evaluating antitumor therapies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine