Spontaneous feline mammary carcinoma is a model of HER2 overexpressing poor prognosis human breast cancer

Raffaella De Maria, Martina Olivero, Selina Iussich, Munekazu Nakaichi, Tomoaki Murata, Bartolomeo Biolatti, Maria Flavia Di Renzo

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Companion animal spontaneous tumors are suitable models for human cancer, primarily because both animal population and the tumors are genetically heterogeneous. Feline mammary carcinoma (FMC) is a highly aggressive, mainly hormone receptor-negative cancer, which has been proposed as a model for poor prognosis human breast cancer. We have identified and studied the feline orthologue of the HER2 gene, which is both an important prognostic marker and therapeutic target in human cancer. Feline HER2 (f-HER2) gene kinase domain is 92% similar to the human HER2 kinase. F-HER2-specific mRNA was found 3- to 18-fold increased in 3 of 3 FMC cell lines, in 1 of 4 mammary adenomas and 6 of 11 FMC samples using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Western blot showed that an antihuman HER2 antibody recognized a protein comigrating with the human p185HER2 in FMC cell lines. The same antibodies strongly stained 13 of 36 FMC archival samples. These data show that feline HEB2 overexpression qualifies FMC as homologous to the subset of HEB2 overexpressing, poor prognosis human breast carcinomas and as a suitable model to test innovative approaches to therapy of aggressive tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-912
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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