ABSTRACT: Sox9 belongs to the family of Sry-related high-mobility group box transcription factors controlling cell fate, cell proliferation and differentiation in various tissues, including cartilage, testis, the central nervous system, kidney, and gastrointestine. Mice conditionally lacking Sox9 have revealed essential roles for Sox9 in these tissues. To gain further insight into the role of Sox9 in different tissues and at different stages of development, we have generated a transgenic mouse line to express Sox9 in a Cre recombinase-dependent manner. The construct contained the human cytomegalovirus enhancer and chicken β-actin promoter, and a floxed monomeric red fluorescence protein 1 (mRFP1) cassette to direct ubiquitous expression of mRFP1. Cre expression removed the mRFP1 gene, allowing expression of Sox9 and enhanced green fluorescent protein. Expectedly, overexpression of Sox9 in chondrocytes using Col2a1-Cre mice suppressed chondrocyte hypertrophy, and delayed terminal differentiation and subsequent ossification. Misexpression of Sox9 in hypertrophic chondrocytes using Col10a1-Cre knock-in mice also delayed terminal differentiation. This Sox9 conditional transgenic mouse line will be a valuable tool to uncover tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific functions of Sox9.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 01/2011; 29(1):123-9. · 2.27 Impact Factor