Novel genetically engineered mouse models for clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

TitleNovel genetically engineered mouse models for clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
Authorsvan der Mijn JC, Laursen KB, Fu L, Khani F, Dow LE, Nowak DG, Chen Q, Gross SS, Nanus DM, Gudas LJ
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2023 May 22
KeywordsAnimals, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Humans, Infant, Kidney Neoplasms, Male, Mice, Mutation, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Tumor Suppressor Proteins

Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are important immunocompetent models for research into the roles of individual genes in cancer and the development of novel therapies. Here we use inducible CRISPR-Cas9 systems to develop two GEMMs which aim to model the extensive chromosome p3 deletion frequently observed in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We cloned paired guide RNAs targeting early exons of Bap1, Pbrm1, and Setd2 in a construct containing a Cas9D10A (nickase, hSpCsn1n) driven by tetracycline (tet)-responsive elements (TRE3G) to develop our first GEMM. The founder mouse was crossed with two previously established transgenic lines, one carrying the tet-transactivator (tTA, Tet-Off) and one with a triple-mutant stabilized HIF1A-M3 (TRAnsgenic Cancer of the Kidney, TRACK), both driven by a truncated, proximal tubule-specific γ-glutamyltransferase 1 (ggt or γGT) promoter, to create triple-transgenic animals. Our results indicate that this model (BPS-TA) induces low numbers of somatic mutations in Bap1 and Pbrm1 (but not in Setd2), known tumor suppressor genes in human ccRCC. These mutations, largely restricted to kidneys and testis, induced no detectable tissue transformation in a cohort of 13 month old mice (N = 10). To gain insights into the low frequencies of insertions and deletions (indels) in BPS-TA mice we analyzed wild type (WT, N = 7) and BPS-TA (N = 4) kidneys by RNAseq. This showed activation of both DNA damage and immune response, suggesting activation of tumor suppressive mechanisms in response to genome editing. We then modified our approach by generating a second model in which a ggt-driven, cre-regulated Cas9WT(hSpCsn1) was employed to introduce Bap1, Pbrm1, and Setd2 genome edits in the TRACK line (BPS-Cre). The BPS-TA and BPS-Cre lines are both tightly controlled in a spatiotemporal manner with doxycycline (dox) and tamoxifen (tam), respectively. In addition, whereas the BPS-TA line relies on paired guide RNAs (gRNAs), the BPS-Cre line requires only single gRNAs for gene perturbation. In the BPS-Cre we identified increased Pbrm1 gene-editing frequencies compared to the BPS-TA model. Whereas we did not detect Setd2 edits in the BPS-TA kidneys, we found extensive editing of Setd2 in the BPS-Cre model. Bap1 editing efficiencies were comparable between the two models. Although no gross malignancies were observed in our study, this is the first reported GEMM which models the extensive chromosome 3p deletion frequently observed in kidney cancer patients. Further studies are required (1) to model more extensive 3p deletions, e.g. impacting additional genes, and (2) to increase the cellular resolution, e.g. by employing single-cell RNAseq to ascertain the effects of specific combinatorial gene inactivation.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID37217526
PubMed Central IDPMC10203127
Grant ListR01 DK113088 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
S10 OD023652 / OD / NIH HHS / United States
Related Faculty: 
Francesca Khani, M.D.

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