Open Access Open Badges Research article

Characterisation of prostate cancer lesions in heterozygous Men1 mutant mice

Christelle Seigne1, Sandra Fontanière12, Christine Carreira12, Jieli Lu17, Wei-Ming Tong23, Bernard Fontanière4, Zhao-Qi Wang25, Chang Xian Zhang17* and Lucien Frappart6

Author Affiliations

1 CNRS UMR5201, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Signalisation et Cancer, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon F-69008, France

2 International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon F-69008, France

3 Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing Union Medical College, Beijing-100005, China

4 Département de Pathologie, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon F-69008, France

5 Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute e.V., 07745 Jena, Germany

6 Département de Pathologie, INSERM U590, Centre Léon Bérard, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, HCL, Lyon F-69008, France

7 The E-Institute of Shanghai, Sino-French Life Science and Genomic Research Center, Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:395  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-395

Published: 27 July 2010



Mutations of the MEN1 gene predispose to multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome. Our group and others have shown that Men1 disruption in mice recapitulates MEN1 pathology. Intriguingly, rare lesions in hormone-dependent tissues, such as prostate and mammary glands, were also observed in the Men1 mutant mice.


To study the occurrence of prostate lesions, we followed a male mouse cohort of 47 Men1+/- mice and 23 age-matched control littermates, starting at 18 months of age, and analysed the prostate glands from the cohort.


Six Men1+/- mice (12.8%) developed prostate cancer, including two adenocarcinomas and four in situ carcinomas, while none of the control mice developed cancerous lesions. The expression of menin encoded by the Men1 gene was found to be drastically reduced in all carcinomas, and partial LOH of the wild-type Men1 allele was detected in three of the five analysed lesions. Using immunostaining for the androgen receptor and p63, a basal epithelial cell marker, we demonstrated that the menin-negative prostate cancer cells did not display p63 expression and that the androgen receptor was expressed but more heterogeneous in these lesions. Furthermore, our data showed that the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor CDKN1B (p27), a Men1 target gene known to be inactivated during prostate cell tumorigenesis, was notably decreased in the prostate cancers that developed in the mutant mice.


Our work suggests the possible involvement of Men1 inactivation in the tumorigenesis of the prostate gland.