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      Rhabdomyosarcomas and radiation hypersensitivity in a mouse model of Gorlin syndrome

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          Abstract

          Gorlin (or nevoid basal cell carcinoma) syndrome is characterized by a variety of clinical problems including generalized overgrowth of the body, cysts, developmental abnormalities of the skeleton and a predisposition to benign and malignant tumors. The syndrome results from germline mutations of the human homolog of the drosophila segment polarity gene patched (ptc). Here we report that mice heterozygous for ptc develop many of the features characteristic of Gorlin syndrome and that they exhibit a high incidence of rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS), the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children. The downstream signalling partner of ptc, gli1, was overexpressed in all RMSs analyzed, indicating that abnormal signalling of the ptc-gli1 pathway may be common for the various tumors associated with the syndrome. igf2, implicated in the formation of RMSs, was also overexpressed, suggesting cross-talk between the ptc and igf2 pathways in tumorigenesis. Developmental defects in Gorlin syndrome resemble those induced by ionizing radiation. We show that ptc heterozygous mice exhibit increased incidence of radiation-induced teratogenesis. This suggests a role for ptc in the response to ionizing radiation and provides a model for both the systemic (developmental) and stochastic (cancer) abnormalities observed in Gorlin syndrome.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Altered Neural Cell Fates and Medulloblastoma in Mouse patched Mutants

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            Conservation of the hedgehog/patched signaling pathway from flies to mice: induction of a mouse patched gene by Hedgehog.

            The signaling protein Hedgehog (Hh) controls cell fate and polarizes tissues in both flies and vertebrates. In flies, Hh exerts its effects by opposing the function of a novel transmembrane protein, Patched, while also locally inducing patched (ptc) transcription. We have identified a mouse homolog of ptc which in many tissues is transcribed near cells making either Sonic or Indian hedgehog. In addition, ectopic Sonic hedgehog expression in the mouse central nervous system induces ptc transcription. As in flies, mouse ptc transcription appears to be indicative of hedgehog signal reception. The results support the existence of a conserved signaling pathway used for pattern formation in insects and mammals.
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              Activation of the transcription factor Gli1 and the Sonic hedgehog signalling pathway in skin tumours.

              Sporadic basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of malignant cancer in fair-skinned adults. Familial BCCs and a fraction of sporadic BCCs have lost the function of Patched (Ptc), a Sonic hedgehog (Shh) receptor that acts negatively on this signalling pathway. Overexpression of Shh can induce BCCs in mice. Here we show that ectopic expression of the zinc-finger transcription factor Gli1 in the embryonic frog epidermis results in the development of tumours that express endogenous Gli1. We also show that Shh and the Gli genes are normally expressed in hair follicles, and that human sporadic BCCs consistently express Gli1 but not Shh or Gli3. Because Gli1, but not Gli3, acts as a target and mediator of Shh signalling, our results suggest that expression of Gli1 in basal cells induces BCC formation. Moreover, loss of Ptc or overexpression of Shh cannot be the sole causes of Gli1 induction and sporadic BCC formation, as they do not occur consistently. Thus any mutations leading to the expression of Gli1 in basal cells are predicted to induce BCC formation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Medicine
                Nat Med
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1078-8956
                1546-170X
                May 1998
                May 1998
                : 4
                : 5
                : 619-622
                Article
                10.1038/nm0598-619
                9585239
                © 1998

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