Mice deficient in the Rac activator Tiam1 are resistant to Ras-induced skin tumours

Angeliki Malliri, Rob A. Van der Kammen, Kristopher Clark, Maarten Van der Valk, Frits Michiels, John G. Collard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proteins of the Rho family control signalling pathways that regulate the actin cytoskeleton and gene transcription1,2. In vitro studies have implicated Rho-like GTP-hydrolysing enzymes (GTPases) in cell migration3-5, cell-cycle progression6,7, and Ras-induced focus formation8,9, suggesting a role for these GTPases in the formation and progression of tumours in vivo. To study this, we have generated mice lacking the Rac-specific activator Tiam110-12, a T-lymphoma invasion and metastasis inducing protein. Here we show that such Tiam1-/- mice are resistant to the development of Ras-induced skin tumours initiated with 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracene and promoted with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. Moreover, the few tumours produced in Tiam1-/- mice grew much slower than did tumours in wild-type mice. Tiam1-deficient primary embryonic fibroblasts were also resistant to RasV12-induced focus formation. Analysis of Tiam1 heterozygotes indicated that both tumour initiation and promotion were dependent on the Tiam1 gene dose. Tiam1 deficiency was associated with increased apoptosis during initiation, and with impeded proliferation during promotion. Although the number of tumours in Tiam1-/-mice was small, a greater proportion progressed to malignancy, suggesting that Tiam1 deficiency promotes malignant conversion. Our studies identify the Rac activator Tiam1 as a critical regulator of different aspects of Ras-induced tumour formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-871
Number of pages4
Issue number6891
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2002


  • pharmacology: 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • drug effects: Cell Division
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genotype
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • analysis: Keratin
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • genetics: Proteins
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • enzymology: Skin Neoplasms
  • pharmacology: Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • metabolism: ras Proteins


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