The aging population in developed countries leads to rapid increase in cancer incidence and other aging-related disorders. To accelerate cancer and aging research and to contribute to the theme of ‘healthy aging’, the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and the European Research Institute for the Biology of Aging (ERIBA) have established a Mouse Clinic for Cancer and Aging research (MCCA). The MCCA will accelerate the development of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of human cancer and aging syndromes. These mouse models will be used for developing new therapies against cancer and aging-related diseases.
The MCCA houses four key expertises:
A Transgenic facility for the generation of genetically modified mouse strains on either wildtype or complex genetic backgrounds.
A Mouse Cancer Clinic for preclinical intervention studies to determine therapy responses in advanced mouse models of human cancer.
A Mouse Imaging facility for both functional and anatomical imaging.
An Aging and Phenotyping Facility for controlled aging and phenotyping studies in different inbred mouse strains and GEMMs, combined with a centralized biobank of frozen mouse tissues for aging research.
External users can gain access to the MCCA facilities on the basis of scientific excellence and pay-for-use. To request services of the MCCA transgenic facility specifically visit our web portal: GEMreport.
The MCCA is partner of the EC funded Infrafrontier Project for the implementation of a sustainable European research infrastructure for systemic phenotyping, archiving and distribution of mouse models. The MCCA is also the National partner of the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA) for distribution of GEMM-derived ESC lines via the Infrafrontier portal.
GEMreport - a new web portal for the services of the MCCA transgenic facility – Sept 2017
In the recent years, the MCCA has invested heavily in streamlining of its services. One major step is the launch of a new in-house developed software package, called GEMreport. This web portal allows for the capturing and monitoring of the activities of the transgenic facility. After registering in GEMreport, the customer can request a consultation and is contacted shortly to discuss the details of the project. Once agreed on the conditions, the project is started and its progress can be monitored. Currently, custom-designed software packages are being developed for the other MCCA facilities.
Now available: a protocol and decision guide to generate genetically modified mice – August 2017
Novel technologies have dramatically changed the way genetically modified mice are generated. In a new publication in the book series, Methods in Molecular Biology, MCCA’s Ivo Huijbers provides an up-to-date decision guide on which technique is most suitable for introduction of a particular gene modification the mouse germline. In the same issue, his team provides a detailed protocol for the one-step generation of conditional mouse strains by applying CRISPR/Cas9 in mouse zygotes. Full text articles are available (decision guide & CRISPR conditionals).
A novel oncogenic pathway in invasive lobular breast carcinoma – July 2017
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common breast cancer subtype and accounts for 8-14% of all cases. To gain insight into the genes that drive the disease, the group of Jos Jonkers performed an in vivo insertional mutagenesis screen. They identified a number of potential driver genes that were involved in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton. With help of both the MCCA transgenic facility and the MCCA intervention unit, three of the candidate driver genes were validated in new mouse models of ILC. The identification of a new critical pathway in ILC can provide new opportunities for the development of targeted therapies for human ILC. The paper was published in Nature Genetics.