We generated C57BL/6NTac mice carrying a tyrosinase loss-of function mutation and a reversion of the nonagouti locus to agouti. This strain has a high superovulation response, allows visual detection of chimeric coat color contribution of C57BL/6 ES-cells and provides a simplified breeding format that generates black G1 offspring of pure inbred C57BL/6 background in one step, providing the ideal host for genetically manipulated C57BL/6 ES cells.
Ect2 is a member of the human Dbl family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs) that serve as activators of Rho family small GTPases. Although Ect2 is one of at least 25 RhoGEFs that can activate the RhoA small GTPase, cell culture studies using established cell lines determined that Ect2 is essential for mammalian cell cytokinesis and proliferation. To address the function of Ect2 in normal mammalian development, we performed gene targeting to generate Ect2 knockout mice. The heterozygous Ect2(+/-) mice showed normal development and life span, indicating that Ect2 haplodeficiency was not deleterious for development or growth. In contrast, Ect2(-/-) embryos were not found at birth or postimplantation stages. Ect2(-/-) blastocysts were recovered at embryonic day 3.5 but did not give rise to viable outgrowths in culture, indicating that Ect2 is required for peri-implantation development. To further assess the importance of Ect2 in normal cell physiology, we isolated primary fibroblasts from Ect2(fl/fl) embryos (MEFs) and ablated Ect2 using adenoviral delivery of Cre recombinase. We observed a significant increase in multinucleated cells and accumulation of cells in G2/M phase, consistent with a role for Ect2 in cytokinesis. Ect2 deficiency also caused enlargement of the cytoplasm and impaired cell migration. Finally, although Ect2-dependent activation of RhoA has been implicated in cytokinesis, Ect2 can also activate Rac1 and Cdc42 to cause growth transformation. Surprisingly, ectopic expression of constitutively activated RhoA, Rac1, or Cdc42, known substrates of Ect2, failed to phenocopy Ect2 and did not rescue the defect in cytokinesis caused by loss of Ect2. In summary, our results establish the unique role of Ect2 in development and normal cell proliferation.
Transgenic mice expressing mutated amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin (PS)-1 or -2 have been successfully used to model cerebral beta-amyloidosis, one of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimers disease (AD) pathology. However, the use of many transgenic lines is limited by premature death, low breeding efficiencies and late onset and high inter-animal variability of the pathology, creating a need for improved animal models. Here we describe the detailed characterization of a new homozygous double-transgenic mouse line that addresses most of these issues.
The G protein-coupled receptor Gpr30 (Gper) was recently claimed to bind to estradiol and to activate cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways in response to estradiol. However, there are conflicting data regarding the role of Gpr30 as an estrogen receptor (ER): several laboratories were unable to demonstrate estradiol binding to GPR30 or estradiol-activated signal transduction in Gpr30-expressing cells. To clarify the potential role of Gpr30 as an ER, we generated Gpr30-deficient mice. Although Gpr30 was expressed in all reproductive organs, histopathological analysis did not reveal any abnormalities in these organs in Gpr30-deficient mice. Mutant male and female mice were as fertile as their wild-type littermates, indicating normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Moreover, we analyzed estrogenic responses in two major estradiol target organs, the uterus and the mammary gland. For that purpose, we examined different readout paradigms such as morphological measures, cellular proliferation, and target gene expression. Our data demonstrate that in vivo Gpr30 is dispensable for the mediation of estradiol effects in reproductive organs. These results are in clear contrast to the phenotype of mice lacking the classic ER alpha (Esr1) or aromatase (Cyp19a1). We conclude that the perception of Gpr30 (based on homology related to peptide receptors) as an ER might be premature and has to be reconsidered.
The multidrug resistance protein (MRP) 2 is predominantly expressed in liver, intestine, and kidney, where it plays an important role in the excretion of a range of drugs and their metabolites or endogenous compounds into bile, feces, and urine. Mrp knockout [Mrp2(-/-)] mice have been used recently to study the role of MRP2 in drug disposition. Here, we describe the first generation and initial characterization of a mouse line humanized for MRP2 (huMRP2), which is nulled for the mouse Mrp2 gene and expresses the human transporter in the organs and cell types where MRP2 is normally expressed. Analysis of the mRNA expression for selected cytochrome P450 and transporter genes revealed no major changes in huMRP2 mice compared with wild-type controls. We show that human MRP2 is able to compensate functionally for the loss of the mouse transporter as demonstrated by comparable bilirubin levels in the humanized mice and wild-type controls, in contrast to the hyperbilirubinemia phenotype that is observed in MRP2(-/-) mice. The huMRP2 mouse provides a model to study the role of the human transporter in drug disposition and in assessing the in vivo consequences of inhibiting this transporter by compounds interacting with human MRP2.
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