The human fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene is frequently mutated in superficial urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC). To test the functional significance of FGFR3 activating mutations as a ‘driver’ of UCC, we targeted the expression of mutated Fgfr3 to the murine urothelium using Cre-loxP recombination driven by the uroplakin II promoter. The introduction of the Fgfr3 mutations resulted in no obvious effect on tumorigenesis up to 18 months of age. Furthermore, even when the Fgfr3 mutations were introduced together with K-Ras or β-catenin (Ctnnb1) activating mutations, no urothelial dysplasia or UCC was observed. Interestingly, however, owing to a sporadic ectopic Cre recombinase expression in the skin and lung of these mice, Fgfr3 mutation caused papilloma and promoted lung tumorigenesis in cooperation with K-Ras and β-catenin activation, respectively. These results indicate that activation of FGFR3 can cooperate with other mutations to drive tumorigenesis in a context-dependent manner, and support the hypothesis that activation of FGFR3 signaling contributes to human cancer.
- Received September 13, 2010.
- Accepted March 10, 2011.
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