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Le Fur N, Silvers WK, Kelsall SR, Mintz B
Up-regulation of specific tyrosinase mRNAs in mouse melanomas with the c2j gene substituted for the wild-type tyrosinase allele: utilization in design of syngeneic immunotherapy models
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (1997) 94:7561-5.
The expression of cell-specialization genes is likely to be changing in tumor cells as their differentiation declines. Functional changes in these genes might yield unusual peptide epitopes with anti-tumor potential and could occur without modification in the DNA sequence of the gene. Melanomas undergo a characteristic decline in melanization that may reflect altered contributions of key melanocytic genes such as tyrosinase. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR of the wild-type (C) tyrosinase gene in transgenic (C57BL/6 strain) mouse melanomas has revealed a shift toward alternative splicing of the pre-mRNA that generated increased levels of the Delta1b and Delta1d mRNA splice variants. The spontaneous c2j albino mutation of tyrosinase (in the C57BL/6 strain) changes the pre-mRNA splicing pattern. In c2j/c2j melanomas, alternative splicing was again increased. However, while some mRNAs (notably Delta1b) present in C/C were obligatorily absent, others (Delta3 and Delta1d) were elevated. In c2j/c2j melanomas, the percentage of total tyrosinase transcripts attributable to Delta3 reached approximately 2-fold the incidence in c2j/c2j or C/C skin melanocytes. The percentage attributable to Delta1d rose to approximately 2-fold the incidence in c2j/c2j skin, and to 10-fold that in C/C skin. These differences provide a basis for unique mouse models in which the melanoma arises in skin grafted from a C/C or c2j/c2j transgenic donor to a transgenic host of the same or opposite tyrosinase genotype. Immunotherapy designs then could be based on augmenting those antigenic peptides that are novel or overrepresented in a tumor relative to the syngeneic host.
Publication Date: 1997-07-08.
Last updated on Saturday, August 15, 2020