Prostate cancer is the most common solid tumor in men, with nearly 200,000 new cases and more than 30,000 deaths each year in the Unites States alone. Despite increased understanding of the disease, molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer are not completely elucidated. In this regard, animal models of disease are of significant importance, to evaluate potential therapeutics as well as to understand the underlying pathogenesis.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a novel transgenic mouse model of human prostate cancer development. These transgenic animals overexpress enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), which was found to be overexpressed in hormone-refractory, metastatic prostate cancer. Through gene expression profiling, these researchers have shown that dysregulated expression of EZH2 may be involved in progression of prostate cancer. In this animal model, EZH2 is specifically overexpressed in the mouse prostate using a modified probasin promoter. Unlike conventionally used xenograft prostate cancer mouse models, these EZH2 transgenic mice represent an authentic oncogene-driven model of human prostate cancer development.
Applications and Advantages
- Pre-clinical testing of new prostate cancer therapeutics
- Unique oncogene-driven model of human prostate cancer development