Mutation of murine Sox4 untranslated regions results in partially penetrant perinatal lethality.
ABSTRACT: Sox4 is an essential gene, and genetic deletion results in embryonic lethality. In an effort to develop mice with tissue-specific deletion, we bred conditional knockout mice bearing LoxP recombination sites flanking the Sox4 gene, with the LoxP sites located in the Sox4 5'UTR and 3'UTR.The number of mice homozygous for this LoxP-flanked conditional knockout allele was far below the expected number, suggesting embryonic lethality with reduced penetrance. From over 200 animals bred, only 11% were homozygous Sox4(flox/flox) mice, compared to the expected Mendelian ratio of 25% (p<0.001). Moreover, there was a significant reduction in the number of female Sox4(flox/flox) mice (26%) relative to male Sox4(flox/flox) mice (p=0.0371). Reduced Sox4 expression in homozygous embryos was confirmed by in-situ hybridization and Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QPCR).LoxP sites in the 5' and 3' UTR of both alleles of Sox4 resulted in reduced, but variable expression of Sox4 message.
Project description:Crim1 is a developmentally expressed, transmembrane protein essential for normal embryonic development. We generated mice engineered to contain a Crim1 conditional null allele by flanking exons three and four of Crim1 with unidirectional LoxP sites. After crossing Crim1+/FLOX mice with a CMV-Cre line, a Crim1+/?flox colony was established after germline transmission of the deleted allele. We then analyzed genomic DNA, mRNA transcripts, and protein expression from Crim1?flox/?flox null mice to confirm the nature of the genomic lesion. Crim1?flox/?flox mice displayed phenotypes similar to those previously described for a Crim1 gene-trap mutant, Crim1KST264/KST264, including perinatal lethality, digit syndactyly, eye, and kidney abnormalities, with varying penetrance and severity. The production of a conditional mutant allele represents a valuable resource for the study of the tissue-specific roles for Crim1, and for understanding the pleimorphic phenotypes associated with Crim1 mutation.
Project description:CREB-binding protein (CBP) and its para-log p300 are transcriptional coactivators that physically or functionally interact with over 320 mammalian and viral proteins, including 36 that are essential for B cells in mice. CBP and p300 are generally considered limiting for transcription, yet their roles in adult cell lineages are largely unknown since homozygous null mutations in either gene or compound heterozygosity cause early embryonic lethality in mice. We tested the hypotheses that CBP and p300 are limiting and that each has unique properties in B cells, by using mice with Cre/LoxP conditional knockout alleles for CBP (CBP(flox)) and p300 (p300(flox)), which carry CD19(Cre) that initiates floxed gene recombination at the pro-B-cell stage. CD19(Cre)-mediated loss of CBP or p300 led to surprisingly modest deficits in B-cell numbers, whereas inactivation of both genes was not tolerated by peripheral B cells. There was a moderate decrease in B-cell receptor (BCR)-responsive gene expression in CBP or p300 homozygous null B cells, suggesting that CBP and p300 are essential for this signaling pathway that is crucial for B-cell homeostasis. These results indicate that individually CBP and p300 are partially limiting beyond the pro-B-cell stage and that other coactivators in B cells cannot replace their combined loss.
Project description:LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) proteins encode conserved N-terminal mitochondrial signal domains and C-terminal (A/TAEKAK) motif repeats, long-presumed to confer cell resistance to stress and death cues. This prompted the hypothesis that LEA proteins are central to mitochondria mechanisms that connect bioenergetics with cell responses to stress and death signaling. In support of this hypothesis, recent studies have demonstrated that mammalian LEA protein PRELI can act as a biochemical hub, which upholds mitochondria energy metabolism, while concomitantly promoting B cell resistance to stress and induced death. Hence, it is important to define in vivo the physiological relevance of PRELI expression.Given the ubiquitous PRELI expression during mouse development, embryo lethality could be anticipated. Thus, conditional gene targeting was engineered by insertion of flanking loxP (flox)/Cre recognition sites on PRELI chromosome 13 (Chr 13) locus to abort its expression in a tissue-specific manner. After obtaining mouse lines with homozygous PRELI floxed alleles (PRELI(f/f)), the animals were crossed with CD19-driven Cre-recombinase transgenic mice to investigate whether PRELI inactivation could affect B-lymphocyte physiology and survival. Mice with homozygous B cell-specific PRELI deletion (CD19-Cre/Chr13 PRELI(-/-)) bred normally and did not show any signs of morbidity. Histopathology and flow cytometry analyses revealed that cell lineage identity, morphology, and viability were indistinguishable between wild type CD19-Cre/Chr13 PRELI(+/+) and CD19-Cre/Chr13 PRELI(-/-) deficient mice. Furthermore, B cell PRELI gene expression seemed unaffected by Chr13 PRELI gene targeting. However, identification of additional PRELI loci in mouse Chr1 and Chr5 provided an explanation for the paradox between LEA-dependent cytoprotection and the seemingly futile consequences of Chr 13 PRELI gene inactivation. Importantly, PRELI expression from spare gene loci appeared ample to surmount Chr 13 PRELI gene deficiency.These findings suggest that PRELI is a vital LEA B cell protein with failsafe genetics.
Project description:Conditional deletion of Pkd1 in osteoblasts using either Osteocalcin(Oc)-Cre or Dmp1-Cre results in defective osteoblast-mediated postnatal bone formation and osteopenia. Pkd1 is also expressed in undifferentiated mesenchyme that gives rise to the osteoblast lineage. To examine the effects of Pkd1 on prenatal osteoblast development, we crossed Pkd1(flox/flox) and Col1a1(3.6)-Cre mice, which has been used to achieve selective inactivation of Pkd1 earlier in the osteoblast lineage. Control Pkd1(flox/flox) and Pkd1(flox/+), heterozygous Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/+) and Pkd1(flox/null), and homozygous Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) and Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/null) mice were analyzed at ages ranging from E14.5 to 8-weeks-old. Newborn Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/null) mice exhibited defective skeletogenesis in association with a greater reduction in Pkd1 expression in bone. Conditional Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/+) and Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) mice displayed a gene dose-dependent decrease in bone formation and increase in marrow fat at 6 weeks of age. Bone marrow stromal cell and primary osteoblast cultures from homozygous Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) mice showed increased proliferation, impaired osteoblast development and enhanced adipogenesis ex vivo. Unexpectedly, we found evidence for Col1a1(3.6)-Cre mediated deletion of Pkd1 in extraskeletal tissues in Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) mice. Deletion of Pkd1 in mesenchymal precursors resulted in pancreatic and renal, but not hepatic, cyst formation. The non-lethality of Col1a1(3.6)-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) mice establishes a new model to study abnormalities in bone development and cyst formation in pancreas and kidney caused by Pkd1 gene inactivation.
Project description:PKD1 (polycystin-1), the disease-causing gene for ADPKD, is widely expressed in various cell types, including osteoblasts, where its function is unknown. Although global inactivation of Pkd1 in mice results in abnormal skeletal development, the presence of polycystic kidneys and perinatal lethality confound ascertaining the direct osteoblastic functions of PKD1 in adult bone. To determine the role of PKD1 in osteoblasts, we conditionally inactivated Pkd1 in postnatal mature osteoblasts by crossing Oc (osteocalcin)-Cre mice with floxed Pkd1 (Pkd1(flox/m1Bei)) mice to generate conditional heterozygous (Oc-Cre;Pkd1(flox/+)) and homozygous (Oc-Cre;Pkd1(flox/m1Bei)) Pkd1-deficient mice. Cre-mediated recombination (Pkd1(Delta flox)) occurred exclusively in bone. Compared with control mice, the conditional deletion of Pkd1 from osteoblasts resulted in a gene dose-dependent reduction in bone mineral density, trabecular bone volume, and cortical thickness. In addition, mineral apposition rates and osteoblast-related gene expression, including Runx2-II (Runt-related transcription factor 2), osteocalcin, osteopontin, and bone sialoprotein, were reduced proportionate to the reduction of Pkd1 gene dose in bone of Oc-Cre;Pkd1(flox/+) and Oc-Cre;Pkd1(flox/m1Bei) mice. Primary osteoblasts derived from Oc-Cre;Pkd1(flox/m1Bei) displayed impaired differentiation and suppressed activity of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-GSK3beta-beta-catenin signaling pathways. The conditional deletion of Pkd1 also resulted in increased adipogenesis in bone marrow and in osteoblast cultures. Thus, PKD1 directly functions in osteoblasts to regulate bone formation.
Project description:Sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum calcium ATPases (SERCA) are cellular pumps that transport Ca(2+) into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Serca2 is the most widely expressed gene family member. The very early embryonic lethality of Serca2(null) mouse embryos has precluded further evaluation of loss of Serca2 function in the context of organ physiology. We have generated mice carrying a conditional Serca2(flox) allele which allows disruption of the Serca2 gene in an organ-specific and/or inducible manner. The model was tested by mating Serca2(flox) mice with MLC-2v(wt/Cre) mice and with alphaMHC-Cre transgenic mice. In heterozygous Serca2(wt/flox)MLC-2v(wt/Cre) mice, the expression of SERCA2a and SERCA2b proteins were reduced in the heart and slow skeletal muscle, in accordance with the expression pattern of the MLC-2v gene. In Serca2(flox/flox) Tg(alphaMHC-Cre) embryos with early homozygous cardiac Serca2 disruption, normal embryonic development and yolk sac circulation was maintained up to at least embryonic stage E10.5. The Serca2(flox) mouse is the first murine conditional gene disruption model for the SERCA family of Ca(2+) ATPases, and should be a powerful tool for investigating specific physiological roles of SERCA2 function in a range of tissues and organs in vivo both in adult and embryonic stages.
Project description:The antithrombotic surface of endothelium is regulated in a coordinated manner. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) localized at the endothelial cell surface regulates the production of FXa by inhibiting the TF/VIIa complex. Systemic homozygotic deletion of the first Kunitz (K1) domain of TFPI results in intrauterine lethality in mice. Here we define the cellular sources of TFPI and their role in development, hemostasis, and thrombosis using TFPI conditional knockout mice. We used a Cre-lox strategy and generated mice with a floxed exon 4 (TFPI(Flox)) which encodes for the TFPI-K1 domain. Mice bred into Tie2-Cre and LysM-Cre lines to delete TFPI-K1 in endothelial (TFPI(Tie2)) and myelomonocytic (TFPI(LysM)) cells resulted in viable and fertile offspring. Plasma TFPI activity was reduced in the TFPI(Tie2) (71% ± 0.9%, P < .001) and TFPI(LysM) (19% ± 0.6%, P < .001) compared with TFPI(Flox) littermate controls. Tail and cuticle bleeding were unaffected. However, TFPI(Tie2) mice but not TFPI(LysM) mice had increased ferric chloride-induced arterial thrombosis. Taken together, the data reveal distinct roles for endothelial- and myelomonocytic-derived TFPI.
Project description:The Forkhead box transcription factors, Foxc1 and Foxc2, are crucial for development of the eye, cardiovascular network, and other physiological systems, but their cell-type specific and postdevelopmental functions are unknown, in part because conventional (i.e., whole-organism) homozygous-null mutations of either factor result in perinatal death. Here, we describe the generation of mice with conditional-null Foxc1(flox) and Foxc2(flox) mutations that are induced via Cre-mediated recombination. Mice homozygous for the unrecombined alleles are viable and fertile, indicating that the conditional alleles retain their wild-type function. The embryos of Foxc1(flox) or Foxc2(flox) mice crossed with Cre-deleter mice that are homozygous for the recombined allele (i.e., Foxc1(?/?) or Foxc2(?/?) embryos) lack expression of the corresponding gene and show the same developmental defects observed in conventional homozygous mutant embryos. We expect these conditional mutations to enable characterization of the cell-type specific functions of Foxc1 and Foxc2 in development, disease, and adult animals.
Project description:Background:Discoidin domain receptor 2 (Ddr2) is a rate-limiting factor in articular cartilage degeneration, a condition which normally leads to joint destruction. In human osteoarthritic tissues and mouse models of osteoarthritis (OA), the expression of Ddr2 increases and interacts with collagen type II, inducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) and the receptor itself in chondrocytes. Moreover, conditional deletion of Ddr2 can significantly delay the progression of articular cartilage degeneration in post-traumatic OA mouse models. However, the biological effect of the conditional removal of Ddr2 in aging-related OA is still unknown. Therefore, this investigation was to determine whether the conditional removal of Ddr2 in articular cartilage could delay the cartilage degeneration in an aging-related mouse model (Col11a1+/- ) of OA. Methods:Mice Acan+/CreERT2 were bred with Ddr2flox/flox mice to generate Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2+/flox mice. Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2+/flox mice were crossed with Ddr2flox/flox mice to produce Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox mice. A similar breeding procedure was used to generate Col11a1+/-;Ddr2flox/flox mice, in which Acan+/CreERT2 mice were replaced by Col11a1+/- mice. Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox mice were bred with Col11a1+/-;Ddr2flox/flox mice to produce Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox;Col11a1+/- mice that were then treated with tamoxifen or oil at the age of 10 weeks. Knee joints from oil- and tamoxifen-treated Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox;Col11a1+/- mice, and Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox mice at the ages of 3, 9 and 15 months were collected for histology and immunohistochemistry analyses. The protein expressions of Ddr2 and Mmp-13 and the degraded collagen type II were examined. Results:The cartilage degeneration was significantly delayed in tamoxifen-treated Acan+/CreERT2;Ddr2flox/flox;Col11a1+/- mice. The scores, representing the severity of the cartilage damage, between oil- and tamoxifen-treated mice were: (mean ± SD) 1.33±0.47 vs. 1.29±0.45 (P>0.05) at the age of 3 months, 3.50±0.50 vs. 2.14±0.35 (P<0.001) at the age of 9 months, and 5.33±0.47 vs. 2.71±0.55 (P<0.001) at the age of 15 months. The protein expressions of Ddr2, Mmp-13 and the degraded collagen type II were significantly decreased in tamoxifen-treated mice. Conclusions:The removal of Ddr2 could significantly attenuate the cartilage degeneration in Col11a1+/- mice.
Project description:The Gbx class of homeobox genes encodes DNA binding transcription factors involved in regulation of embryonic central nervous system (CNS) development. Gbx1 is dynamically expressed within spinal neuron progenitor pools and becomes restricted to the dorsal mantle zone by embryonic day (E) 12.5. Here, we provide the first functional analysis of Gbx1. We generated mice containing a conditional Gbx1 allele in which exon 2 that contains the functional homeodomain is flanked with loxP sites (Gbx1(flox)); Cre-mediated recombination of this allele results in a Gbx1 null allele. In contrast to mice homozygous for a loss-of-function allele of Gbx2, mice homozygous for the Gbx1 null allele, Gbx1(-/-), are viable and reproductively competent. However, Gbx1(-/-) mice display a gross locomotive defect that specifically affects hindlimb gait. Analysis of embryos homozygous for the Gbx1 null allele reveals disrupted assembly of the proprioceptive sensorimotor circuit within the spinal cord, and a reduction in ISL1(+) ventral motor neurons. These data suggest a functional requirement for Gbx1 in normal development of the neural networks that contribute to locomotion. The generation of this null allele has enabled us to functionally characterize a novel role for Gbx1 in development of the spinal cord.