Animal model system used to test the efficacy of new anti-cancer drugs.
A mouse that expresses human Nox1 in colonic epithelium has been developed, and shows markedly increased reactive oxygen generation selectively in these cells. Nox1 has been implicated in mitogenic and angiogenic growth related to colon cancer, and Nox1 overexpressing mice show hyperplasia of colonic epithelium. In addition, by crossing these overexpressing animals with mice that are prone to develop polyps (such as min mice or other mice mutated in the APC tumor suppressor) it may be possible to develop a model of carcinoma. Using either hyperplasia or tumor formation as a readout, these mice will be useful as an in vivo model for the assay of potential drugs targeting Nox1 or its product, reactive oxygen (e.g., antioxidants). Such drugs are potentially important for prevention and treatment of colon cancer. In addition, this animal model system provides an in vivo model system for evaluating the efficacy of diets, nutrients, anti-oxidants and other preventive and therapeutic agents in preventing and treating colon cancer and/or in blocking the progression of polyps to a cancerous stage.