Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-induced mammary adenocarcinomas can develop from several different premalignant precursors common in GR mice. Insertion mutagenesis of the mammary protooncogenes int-1 and int-2 was studied in this multistep system by analyzing samples from various stages of neoplastic development for novel int-1 and int-2 restriction fragments generated by MMTV provirus integration. int-1 and int-2 insertion mutations were observed in both premalignant lesions and malignant tumors. Some of the tumors with insertion mutations were experimentally derived from insertion mutation-free premalignant precursors. Each class of neoplasm examined had a characteristic frequency of int-1 and int-2 insertion mutations; however, no correspondence was observed between neoplasm morphology and mutation of either gene. These results indicate that insertion mutation of the int-1 and int-2 loci by MMTV provirus can be involved in the earliest identifiable stages of neoplastic development as well as during progression of premalignant lesions to tumors. Insertion mutation of int-1 and int-2 is therefore not stage specific in this system
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