Epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) is an important molecule in the development of many organs, but its role in cancerous growth remains unclear. In January 29 online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reade Roberts and colleagues from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, US, show that Egfr signaling is required for development of intestinal tumors in mice.

Roberts et al. used the hypomorphic Egfrwa2 allele to examine the impact of impaired Egfr signaling on the ApcMin mouse model of familial adenomatous polyposis. They found that transfer of the ApcMin allele onto homozygous Egfrwa2 mice results in a 90% reduction in intestinal polyp number when compared to ApcMin mice carrying a wild-type Egfr allele (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 10.1073/pnas.032678499).

Histological examination of the ilea of homozygous Egfrwa2 mice revealed no differences in the number of microadenomas, but most of these failed...

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