Mist1-Kras G12D knock-in mice develop mixed differentiation metastatic exocrine pancreatic carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma

David A. Tuveson, Liqin Zhu, Aarthi Gopinathan, Nicholas A. Willis, Leili Kachatrian, Rebecca Grochow, Christopher L. Pin, Natalia Y. Mitin, Elizabeth J. Taparowsky, Phyllis A. Gimotty, Ralph H. Hruban, Tyler Jacks, Stephen F. Konieczny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the prevalence of oncogenic Kras mutations in the earliest stages of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the cellular compartment in which oncogenic Kras initiates tumorigenesis remains unknown. To address this, we have gene targeted Kras G12D into the open reading frame of Mist1, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that is expressed during pancreatic development and required for proper pancreatic acinar organization. Although the pancreata of Mist1 KrasG12D/+ mutant mice predictably exhibited acinar metaplasia and dysplasia, the frequent death of these mice from invasive and metastatic pancreatic cancer with mixed histologic characteristics, including acinar, cystic, and ductal features, was unexpected and in contrast to previously described mutant mice that ectopically expressed the Kras oncogene in either acinar or ductal compartments. Interestingly, ingly, many of the mutant mice developed hepatocellular carcinoma, implicating Mist1 KrasG12D/+ cells in both pancreatic and hepatic neoplasia. Concomitant Trp53 +/- mutation cooperated with Mist1 KrasG12D/+ to accelerate lethality and was associated with advanced histopathologic findings, including parenchymal liver metastasis. These findings suggest that Mist1-expressing cells represent a permissive compartment for transformation by oncogenic Kras in pancreatic tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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