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To identify possible genetic interactions between the mechanisms of tumor suppression of menin and pRb, we intercrossed mice with targeted deletions of Men1 and Rb1, and compared tumor development in cohorts of animals carrying single or dual mutations of these tumor-suppressor genes. In mice lacking one copy of Men1, pancreatic islet and anterior pituitary adenomas are common. In animals lacking one copy of Rb1, intermediate pituitary and thyroid tumors occur at high frequency, with less frequent development of pancreatic islet hyperplasia and parathyroid lesions. In mice heterozygous for both Men1 and Rb1, pancreatic hyperplasia and tumors of the intermediate pituitary and thyroid occurred at high frequency. Serum measurements of calcium and glucose did not vary significantly between genotypic groups. Loss of heterozygosity at the Rb1 locus was common in pituitary and thyroid tumors, whereas loss of menin was observed in pancreatic and parathyroid lesions. The tumor spectrum in the double heterozygotes was a combination of pathologies seen in each of the individual heterozygotes, without decrease in age of onset, indicating independent, non-additive effects of the two mutations. Together with the lack of increased tumor spectrum, this suggests that menin and pRb function in a common pathway of tumor suppression.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





4009 - 4017


Animals, Genotype, Heterozygote, Immunohistochemistry, Loss of Heterozygosity, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Neoplasms, Pancreas, Pituitary Gland, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Retinoblastoma Protein, Severity of Illness Index, Thyroid Gland