An appropriate animal model for malignant melanoma could be a strong tool to develop biomarkers through analysis of melanomagenesis.
Development of a novel animal model that spontaneously develops malignant melanoma with a high percentage.
We crossed oncogenic RET (RFP–RET)-carrying transgenic mice of line 304/B6 (RET-mice) with hairless mice (hr/hr) and newly established hairless RFP–RET-transgenic mice of line 304-hr/hr (HL-RET-mice).
The HL-RET-mice developed hyperpigmented skin and benign melanocytic tumors without exception. More importantly, 63.8% (46/72) of the benign tumors were transformed to malignant melanoma in the HL-RET-mice. Mean time until the development of benign melanocytic tumors (2.4 months; n = 102) in the HL-RET-mice was about half of that in the original RET-mice (4.6 months; n = 20). Mean life span in the HL-RET-mice (9.7 months; n = 38) was also significantly (p < 0.01) shorter than that in the original RET-mice (10.8 months; n = 20). Since early development of tumors could contribute to shortening of the research period, HL-RET-mice could be a useful model for analysis of melanomagenesis. We then found that the expression level of Mps one binder kinase activator-like-2B (Mobkl2b) in benign tumors was higher than that in malignant melanoma in HL-RET-mice. Expression level of MOBKL2B in malignant melanoma cell lines was also lower than that in non-malignant melanocytic cells in mice and humans, suggesting that MOBKL2B could be a novel marker for malignant melanoma.
We established a novel hairless RET-transgenic mouse line spontaneously developing cutaneous malignant melanomas from benign melanocytic tumors. This mouse model may be useful to find new candidates of melanoma-related molecule.
Abbreviations:RET-mice (RFP–RET carried transgenic mice of line 304/B6), HL-RET-mice (hairless RFP–RET-transgenic mice of line 304-hr/hr), Hprt (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase), Mobkl2B (Mps one binder kinase activator-like-2-B)
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Published online: December 15, 2011
Accepted: October 19, 2011
Received in revised form: October 11, 2011
Received: June 13, 2011
© 2011 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.