Conditional deletion of menin results in antral G cell hyperplasia and hypergastrinemia

Natalia A. Veniaminova, Michael M. Hayes, Jessica M. Varney, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Antral gastrin is the hormone known to stimulate acid secretion and proliferation of the gastric corpus epithelium. Patients with mutations in the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) locus, which encodes the protein menin, develop pituitary hyperplasia, insulinomas, and gastrinomas in the duodenum. We previously hypothesized that loss of menin leads to derepression of the gastrin gene and hypergastrinemia. Indeed, we show that menin represses JunD induction of gastrin in vitro. Therefore, we examined whether conditional deletion of Men1 (Villin-Cre and Lgr5-EGFP-IRES-CreERT2), with subsequent loss of menin from the gastrointestinal epithelium, increases gastrin expression. We found that epithelium-specific deletion of Men1 using Villin-Cre increased plasma gastrin, antral G cell numbers, and gastrin expression in the antrum, but not the duodenum. Moreover, the mice were hypochlorhydric by 12 mo of age, and gastric somatostatin mRNA levels were reduced. However, duodenal mRNA levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 were decreased, and cell proliferation determined by Ki67 staining was increased. About 11% of the menin-deficient mice developed antral tumors that were negative for gastrin; however, gastrinomas were not observed, even at 12 mo of age. No gastrinomas were observed with conditional deletion of Men1 in the Lgr5 stem cells 5 mo after Cre induction. In summary, epithelium-specific deletion of the Men1 locus resulted in hypergastrinemia due to antral G cell hyperplasia and a hyperproliferative epithelium, but no gastrinomas. This result suggests that additional mutations in gene targets other than the Men1 locus are required to produce gastrin-secreting tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G752-G764
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Lgr5
  • Somatostatin
  • Tumor
  • Villin-Cre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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