Chronic activation of wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor and loss of Cdkn2a cause mouse glioblastoma formation

Jaime Acquaviva, Hyun G. Jun, Julie Lessard, Rolando Ruiz, Haihao Zhu, Melissa Donovan, Steve Woolfenden, Abraham Boskovitz, Ami Raval, Roderick T. Bronson, Rolf Pfannl, Charles A. Whittaker, David E. Housman, Al Charest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is characterized by overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and loss of the tumor suppressors Ink4a/Arf. Efforts at modeling GBM using wild-type EGFR in mice have proven unsuccessful. Here, we present a unique mouse model of wild-type EGFR-driven gliomagenesis. We used a combination of somatic conditional overexpression and ligand-mediated chronic activation of EGFR in cooperation with Ink4a/Arf loss in the central nervous system of adult mice to generate tumors with the histopathologic and molecular characteristics of human GBMs. Sustained, ligand-mediated activation of EGFR was necessary for gliomagenesis, functionally substantiating the clinical observation that EGFR-positive GBMs from patients express EGFR ligands. To gain a better understanding of the clinically disappointing EGFR-targeted therapies for GBM, we investigated the molecular responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment in this model. Gefitinib treatment of primary GBM cells resulted in a robust apoptotic response, partially conveyed by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling attenuation and accompanied by BIMEL expression. In human GBMs, loss-of-function mutations in the tumor suppressor PTEN are a common occurrence. Elimination of PTEN expression in GBM cells posttumor formation did not confer resistance to TKI treatment, showing that PTEN status in our model is not predictive. Together, these findings offer important mechanistic insights into the genetic determinants of EGFR gliomagenesis and sensitivity to TKIs and provide a robust discovery platform to better understand themolecular events that are associated with predictivemarkers of TKI therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7198-7206
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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