RAS genes are mutated in 20% of human tumors, but these mutations are very rare in breast cancer. Here, we used a mouse model to generate tumors upon activation of a mutagenic T2Onc2 transposon via expression of a transposase driven by the keratin K5 promoter in a p53+/− background. These animals mainly developed mammary tumors, most of which had transposon insertions in one of two RASGAP genes, neurofibromin1 (Nf1) and RAS p21 protein activator (Rasa1). Immunohistochemical analysis of a collection of human breast tumors confirmed that low expression of RASA1 is frequent in basal (triple-negative) and estrogen receptor negative tumors. Bioinformatic analysis of human breast tumors in The Cancer Genome Atlas database showed that although RASA1 mutations are rare, allelic loss is frequent, particularly in basal tumors (80%) and in association with TP53 mutation. Inactivation of RASA1 in MCF10A cells resulted in the appearance of a malignant phenotype in the context of mutated p53. Our results suggest that alterations in the Ras pathway due to the loss of negative regulators of RAS may be a common event in basal breast cancer. Cancer Res; 77(6); 1357–68. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received June 13, 2016.
- Revision received December 15, 2016.
- Accepted December 27, 2016.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.