Gt(ROSA)26Sor
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Gt(ROSA)26Sor -gene trap ROSA 26, Philippe Soriano
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Tissue-Specific Ablation of the LIF Receptor in the Murine Uterine Epithelium Results in Implantation Failure.
Journal: Endocrinology
September/6/2017
Description

The cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is essential for rendering the uterus receptive for blastocyst implantation. In mice, LIF receptor expression (LIFR) is largely restricted to the uterine luminal epithelium (LE). LIF, secreted from the endometrial glands (GEs), binds to the LIFR, activating the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activation of transcription (STAT) 3 (Jak-Stat3) signaling pathway in the LE. JAK-STAT activation converts the LE to a receptive state so that juxtaposed blastocysts begin to implant. To specifically delete the LIFR in the LE, we derived a line of mice in which Cre recombinase was inserted into the endogenous lactoferrin gene (Ltf-Cre). Lactoferrin expression in the LE is induced by E2, and we demonstrate that Cre recombinase activity is restricted to the LE and GE. To determine the requirement of the LIFR in implantation, we derived an additional mouse line carrying a conditional (floxed) Lifrflx/flx gene. Crossing Ltf-Cre mice with Lifrflx/flx mice generated Lifrflx/Δ:LtfCre/+ females that were overtly normal but infertile. Many of these females, despite repeated matings, did not become pregnant. Unimplanted blastocysts were recovered from the Lifrflx/Δ:LtfCre/+ uteri and, when transferred to wild-type recipients, implanted normally, indicating that uterine receptivity rather than the embryo's competency is compromised. The loss of Lifr results in both the failure for STAT3 to translocate to the LE nuclei and a reduction in the expression of the LIF regulated gene Msx1 that regulates uterine receptivity. These results reveal that uterine expression of the LIFR is essential for embryo implantation and further define the components of the LIF signaling pathway necessary for effective implantation.

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Pubmed
The Proprioceptive System Masterminds Spinal Alignment: Insight into the Mechanism of Scoliosis.
Journal: Developmental cell
September/6/2017
Description

Maintaining posture requires tight regulation of the position and orientation of numerous spinal components. Yet, surprisingly little is known about this regulatory mechanism, whose failure may result in spinal deformity as in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Here, we use genetic mouse models to demonstrate the involvement of proprioception in regulating spine alignment. Null mutants for Runx3 transcription factor, which lack TrkC neurons connecting between proprioceptive mechanoreceptors and spinal cord, developed peripubertal scoliosis not preceded by vertebral dysplasia or muscle asymmetry. Deletion of Runx3 in the peripheral nervous system or specifically in peripheral sensory neurons, or of enhancer elements driving Runx3 expression in proprioceptive neurons, induced a similar phenotype. Egr3 knockout mice, lacking muscle spindles, but not Golgi tendon organs, displayed a less severe phenotype, suggesting that both receptor types may be required for this regulatory mechanism. These findings uncover a central role for the proprioceptive system in maintaining spinal alignment.

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Pubmed
Cytokeratin 19 promoter directs the expression of Cre recombinase in various epithelia of transgenic mice.
Journal: Oncotarget
September/28/2017
Description

Cytokeratin 19 (K19) is expressed in various differentiated cells, including gastric, intestinal and bronchial epithelial cells, and liver duct cells. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse line, K19-Cre, in which the expression of Cre recombinase was controlled by the promoter of K19. To test the tissue distribution and excision activity of Cre recombinase, K19-Cre transgenic mice were bred with Rosa26 reporter strain and a mouse strain that carries PTEN conditional alleles (PTENLoxp/Loxp). At mRNA level, Cre was strongly expressed in the stomach, lung and intestine, while in stomach, lung, and liver at protein level. The immunoreactivity to Cre was strongly observed the cytoplasm of gastric, bronchial and intestinal epithelial cells. Cre activity was detectable in gastric, bronchial and intestinal epithelial cells, according to LacZ staining. In K19-Cre/PTEN Loxp/Loxp mice, PTEN was abrogated in stomach, intestine, lung, liver and breast, the former two of which were verified by in situ PCR. There appeared breast cancer with PTEN loss. These data suggest that K19 promoter may be a useful tool to study the pathophysiological functions of cytokeratin 19-positive cells, especially gastrointestinal epithelial cells. Cell specificity of neoplasia is not completely attributable to the cell-specific expression of oncogenes and cell-specific loss of tumor suppressor genes.

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Pubmed
Distinct Roles of HES1 in Normal Stem Cells and Tumor Stem-like Cells of the Intestine.
Journal: Cancer research
September/27/2017
Description

Cancer stem cells (CSC) have attracted attention as therapeutic targets; however, CSC-targeting therapy may disrupt normal tissue homeostasis because many CSC molecules are also expressed by normal stem cells (NSC). Here, we demonstrate that NSC-specific and CSC-specific roles of the stem cell transcription factor Hes1 in the intestine enable the feasibility of a specific cancer therapy. Hes1 expression was upregulated in NSCs and intestinal tumors. Lineage-tracing experiments in adult mouse intestine revealed that Hes1 deletion in Lgr5+ or Bmi1+ NSCs resulted in loss of self-renewal but did not perturb homeostasis. Furthermore, in Lgr5+ NSC, deletion of Hes1 and β-catenin stabilization limited tumor formation and prolonged host survival. Notably, in Lgr5+ or Dclk1+ tumor stem cells derived from established intestinal tumors, Hes1 deletion triggered immediate apoptosis, reducing tumor burden. Our results show how Hes1 plays different roles in NSCs and CSCs, in which Hes1 disruption leads to tumor regression without perturbing normal stem cell homeostasis, preclinically validating Hes1 as a cancer therapeutic target. Cancer Res; 77(13); 3442-54. ©2017 AACR.

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Pubmed
Biased Oxytocinergic Modulation of Midbrain Dopamine Systems.
Journal: Neuron
September/13/2017
Description

The release of dopamine (DA) regulates rewarding behavior and motor actions through striatum-targeting efferents from ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Here, we map and functionally characterize axonal projections from oxytocin neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus to midbrain DA regions. Electrophysiological recordings of DA neurons reveal that both the application of oxytocin and optogenetic stimulation of oxytocinergic terminals suffice to increase DA neuron activity in the VTA but downregulate it in SNc. This biased modulation is mediated by oxytocin and vasopressin G-protein-coupled receptors. Oxytocin release directly activates DA neurons and indirectly inhibits them through local GABA neurons, but the relative magnitudes of the two mechanisms differ in VTA and SNc. Oxytocin-modulated DA neurons give rise to canonical striatal projections. Since hypothalamic oxytocinergic projections also target the striatum, oxytocin is poised to bias the balance of DA tone through multiple sites in vertebrate reward circuits.

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Pubmed
A nested deletion approach to generate Cre deleter mice with progressive Hox profiles.
Journal: The International journal of developmental biology
October/7/2002
Description

In mice, the loxP/Cre recombinase-dependent system of recombination offers powerful possibilities for engineering genetic configurations of interest. This system can also be advantageously used for conditional mutagenesis in vivo, whenever such an approach is required due to deleterious effects of either one mutation, or a combination thereof. Here, we report on the production of an allelic series of insertions of a Hoxd11/Cre fusion transgene at different positions within the HoxD complex, in order to produce the CRE recombinase with a 'Hox profile' progressively more extended. We used the R26R (R26R) reporter mouse line to functionally assess the distribution and efficiency of the CRE enzyme and discuss the usefulness of these various lines as deleter strains.

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Pubmed
Stromal Gli2 activity coordinates a niche signaling program for mammary epithelial stem cells.
Journal: Science (New York, N.Y.)
September/26/2017
Description

The stem cell niche is a complex local signaling microenvironment that sustains stem cell activity during organ maintenance and regeneration. The mammary gland niche must support its associated stem cells while also responding to systemic hormonal regulation that triggers pubertal changes. We find that Gli2, the major Hedgehog pathway transcriptional effector, acts within mouse mammary stromal cells to direct a hormone-responsive niche signaling program by activating expression of factors that regulate epithelial stem cells as well as receptors for the mammatrophic hormones estrogen and growth hormone. Whereas prior studies implicate stem cell defects in human disease, this work shows that niche dysfunction may also cause disease, with possible relevance for human disorders and in particular the breast growth pathogenesis associated with combined pituitary hormone deficiency.

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Pubmed
Cell of Origin Links Histotype Spectrum to Immune Microenvironment Diversity in Non-small-Cell Lung Cancer Driven by Mutant Kras and Loss of Lkb1.
Journal: Cell reports
September/26/2017
Description

Lung cancers exhibit pronounced functional heterogeneity, confounding precision medicine. We studied how the cell of origin contributes to phenotypic heterogeneity following conditional expression of KrasG12D and loss of Lkb1 (Kras;Lkb1). Using progenitor cell-type-restricted adenoviral Cre to target cells expressing surfactant protein C (SPC) or club cell antigen 10 (CC10), we show that Ad5-CC10-Cre-infected mice exhibit a shorter latency compared with Ad5-SPC-Cre cohorts. We further demonstrate that CC10+ cells are the predominant progenitors of adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC) tumors and give rise to a wider spectrum of histotypes that includes mucinous and acinar adenocarcinomas. Transcriptome analysis shows ASC histotype-specific upregulation of pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory genes. This is accompanied by an ASC-specific immunosuppressive environment, consisting of downregulated MHC genes, recruitment of CD11b+ Gr-1+ tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs), and decreased T cell numbers. We conclude that progenitor cell-specific etiology influences the Kras;Lkb1-driven tumor histopathology spectrum and histotype-specific immune microenvironment.

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The Terminator mouse is a diphtheria toxin-receptor knock-in mouse strain for rapid and efficient enrichment of desired cell lineages.
Journal: Kidney international
June/17/2014
Description

Biomedical research often requires primary cultures of specific cell types, which are challenging to obtain at high purity in a reproducible manner. Here we engineered the murine Rosa26 locus by introducing the diphtheria toxin receptor flanked by loxP sites. The resultant strain was nicknamed the Terminator mouse. This approach results in diphtheria toxin-receptor expression in all non-Cre expressing cell types, making these cells susceptible to diphtheria toxin exposure. In primary cultures of kidney cells derived from the Terminator mouse, over 99.99% of cells were dead within 72 h of diphtheria toxin treatment. After crossing the Terminator with the podocin-Cre (podocyte specific) mouse or the Ggt-Cre (proximal tubule specific) mouse, diphtheria toxin treatment killed non-Cre expressing cells but spared podocytes and proximal tubule cells, respectively, enriching the primary cultures to over 99% purity, based on both western blotting and immunostaining of marker proteins. Thus, the Terminator mouse can be a useful tool to selectively and reproducibly obtain even low-abundant cell types at high quantity and purity.

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Pubmed
The tumor suppressor PTEN and the PDK1 kinase regulate formation of the columnar neural epithelium.
Journal: eLife
January/9/2017
Description

Epithelial morphogenesis and stability are essential for normal development and organ homeostasis. The mouse neural plate is a cuboidal epithelium that remodels into a columnar pseudostratified epithelium over the course of 24 hr. Here we show that the transition to a columnar epithelium fails in mutant embryos that lack the tumor suppressor PTEN, although proliferation, patterning and apical-basal polarity markers are normal in the mutants. The Pten phenotype is mimicked by constitutive activation of PI3 kinase and is rescued by the removal of PDK1 (PDPK1), but does not depend on the downstream kinases AKT and mTORC1. High resolution imaging shows that PTEN is required for stabilization of planar cell packing in the neural plate and for the formation of stable apical-basal microtubule arrays. The data suggest that appropriate levels of membrane-associated PDPK1 are required for stabilization of apical junctions, which promotes cell elongation, during epithelial morphogenesis.

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