2001 Volume 63 Issue 9 Pages 949-954
ErbB subfamily genes, known as proto-oncogenes, encode receptor tyrosine kinases, and are expressed in relation to tumorigenesis of the mammary gland in humans. In this study, we examined the expression of erbB subfamily mRNAs in two canine normal mammary glands and 12 mammary tumor samples by reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Each primer set was designed from the nucleotide sequence of the region conserved in erbB subfamily cDNA among other species. No erbB subfamily mRNAs were expressed in the normal mammary gland. In contrast, all of the subfamily mRNAs were expressed in a benign mammary tumor, and more than one type of the subfamily mRNA were observed in 11 malignant mammary tumors. The length of RT-PCR products were 380 bp for erbB1, 500 bp for erbB2, 644 bp for erbB3, and 416 bp for erbB4. These sequences were highly homologous to the cDNA sequences of other species. Therefore, these results suggest that the expression of erbB subfamily mRNAs in canine mammary tumors plays an important role in tumorigenesis of the mammary gland.