Rbpj conditional knockout reveals distinct functions of Notch4/Int3 in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis

Raafat, A.; Lawson, S.; Bargo, S.; Klauzinska, M.; Strizzi, L.; Goldhar, A. S.; Buono, K.; Salomon, D.; Vonderhaar, B. K.; Callahan, R.

Oncogene. 2008 Oct 7; 28(2):219-30


Transgenic mice expressing the Notch 4 intracellular domain (ICD) (Int3) in the mammary gland have two phenotypes: arrest of mammary alveolar/lobular development and mammary tumorigenesis. Notch4 signaling is mediated primarily through the interaction of Int3 with the transcription repressor/activator Rbpj. We have conditionally ablated the Rbpj gene in the mammary glands of mice expressing whey acidic protein (Wap)-Int3. Interestingly, Rbpj knockout mice (Wap-Cre(+)/Rbpj(-/-)/Wap-Int3) have normal mammary gland development, suggesting that the effect of endogenous Notch signaling on mammary gland development is complete by day 15 of pregnancy. RBP-J heterozygous (Wap-Cre(+)/Rbpj(-/+)/Wap-Int3) and Rbpj control (Rbpj(flox/flox)/Wap-Int3) mice are phenotypically the same as Wap-Int3 mice with respect to mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. In addition, the Wap-Cre(+)/Rbpj(-/-)/Wap-Int3-knockout mice also developed mammary tumors at a frequency similar to Rbpj heterozygous and Wap-Int3 control mice but with a slightly longer latency. Thus, the effect on mammary gland development is dependent on the interaction of the Notch ICD with the transcription repressor/activator Rbpj, and Notch-induced mammary tumor development is independent of this interaction.

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