Pulmonary adenoma susceptibility 1 (Pas1) is the major locus responsible for lung tumor susceptibility in mice; among the six genes mapping in this locus, Kras is considered the best candidate for Pas1 function although how it determines tumor susceptibility remains unknown. In an (A/J×C57BL/6)F4 intercross population treated with urethane to induce lung tumors, Pas1 not only modulated tumor susceptibility (LOD score = 48, 69% of phenotypic variance explained) but also acted, in lung tumor tissue, as an expression quantitative trait locus (QTL) for Kras-4A, one of two alternatively spliced Kras transcripts, but not Kras-4B. Additionally, Kras-4A showed differential allelic expression in lung tumor tissue of (A/J×C57BL/6)F4 heterozygous mice, with significantly higher expression from the A/J-derived allele; these results suggest that cis-acting elements control Kras-4A expression. In normal lung tissue from untreated mice of the same cross, Kras-4A levels were also highly linked to the Pas1 locus (LOD score = 23.2, 62% of phenotypic variance explained) and preferentially generated from the A/J-derived allele, indicating that Pas1 is an expression QTL in normal lung tissue as well. Overall, the present findings shed new light on the genetic mechanism by which Pas1 modulates the susceptibility to lung tumorigenesis, through the fine control of Kras isoform levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cancer Research