Development and characterization of a genetic mouse model of KRAS mutated colorectal cancer

Radhashree Maitra, Thongthai Thavornwatanayong, Madhu Kumar Venkatesh, Carol Chandy, Dov Vachss, Titto Augustine, Hillary Guzik, Wade Koba, Qiang Liu, Sanjay Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Patients with KRAS mutated colorectal cancer (CRC) represent a cohort with unmet medical needs, with limited options of FDA-approved therapies. Representing 40–45% of all CRC patients, they are considered ineligible to receive anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies that have added a significant therapeutic benefit for KRAS wild type CRC patients. Although several mouse models of CRC have been developed during the past decade, one genetically resembling the KRAS mutated CRC is yet to be established. In this study C57 BL/6 mice with truncated adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) floxed allele was crossed with heterozygous KRAS floxed outbred mice to generate an APCf/f KRAS+/f mouse colony. In another set of breeding, APC floxed mice were crossed with CDX2-Cre-ERT2 mice and selected for APCf/f CDX2-Cre-ERT2 after the second round of inbreeding. The final model of the disease was generated by the cross of the two parental colonies and viable APCf/f KRAS+/f CDX2-Cre-ERT2 (KPC: APC) were genotyped and characterized. The model animals were tamoxifen (TAM) induced to generate tumors. Micro-positron emission tomography (PET) scan was used to detect and measure tumor volume and standard uptake value (SUV). Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was performed to establish neoplasm and immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to determine histological similarities with human FFPE biopsies. The MSI/microsatellite stable (MSS) status was determined. Finally, the tumors were extensively characterized at the molecular level to establish similarities with human CRC tumors. The model KPC: APC animals are conditional mutants that developed colonic tumors upon induction with tamoxifen in a dose-dependent manner. The tumors were confirmed to be malignant within four weeks of induction by H&E staining and higher radioactive [18F] fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) uptake (SUV) in micro-PET scan. Furthermore, the tumors histologically and molecularly resembled human colorectal carcinoma. Post tumor generation, the KPC: APC animals died of cachexia and rectal bleeding. Implications: This model is an excellent preclinical platform to molecularly characterize the KRAS mutated colorectal tumors and discern appropriate therapeutic strategies to improve disease management and overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5677
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2019


  • APC
  • CDX
  • CRE
  • KRAS
  • Tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Development and characterization of a genetic mouse model of KRAS mutated colorectal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this