A Mouse Model of Rhabdomyosarcoma Originating from the Adipocyte Lineage

Mark E. Hatley, Wei Tang, Matthew R. Garcia, David Finkelstein, Douglas P. Millay, Ning Liu, Jonathan Graff, Rene L. Galindo, Eric N. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive skeletal muscle-lineage tumor composed of malignant myoblasts that fail to exit the cell cycle and are blocked from fusing into syncytial muscle. Rhabdomyosarcoma includes two histolopathologic subtypes: alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, driven by the fusion protein PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1, and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS), which is genetically heterogeneous. Here, we show that adipocyte-restricted activation of Sonic hedgehog signaling through expression of a constitutively active Smoothened allele in mice gives rise to aggressive skeletal muscle tumors that display the histologic and molecular characteristics of human ERMS with high penetrance. Our findings suggest that adipocyte progenitors can be a cell of origin for Sonic hedgehog-driven ERMS, showing that RMS can originate from nonskeletal muscle precursors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-546
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 16 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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