A higher incidence of gastric cancer has been found in East Asia compared to the incidence in other regions. Gastric cancer patients have a poor prognosis due to distant metastasis and advanced cancer stages. Tumor escape pathways include the expansion of the immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor microenvironment. We have successfully established an orthotopic immunocompetent gastric cancer model in C57BL/6 mice. The cell line is named M12 and was deposited at the Bioresource Collection and Research Center of Taiwan on Sep. 13, 2016 (Patent No. I604054). The orthotopic animal model of gastric cancer has similar biological characteristics as human gastric cancer. Serine/threonine-protein kinase 24 (STK24) is a member of the germinal center kinase (GCK)-III family. GCKs participate in cancer and immunological disorders. The effects of STK24 in gastric cancer are less well understood. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 technology was used to induce a STK24 genetic knockout at the genomic DNA level in tumor cells. The knockdown of the STK24 gene increased the tumor growth in an orthotopic model of gastric cancer. The STK24 gene silencing in tumors induced the expansion of CD11b+Ly6C+ cells and F4/80+ macrophages in vivo. To our knowledge, we have developed the first orthotopic transplantable model of gastric cancer in syngeneic inbred mice. Our results further indicate that STK24 is important for immune regulation during the tumorigenesis of gastric cancer.
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