Mukherjee, A. et al. Targeting iCre expression to murine progesterone receptor cell-lineages using bacterial artificial chromosome transgenesis. Genesis 44, 601-610

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
genesis (Impact Factor: 2.02). 12/2006; 44(12):601-10. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20257
Source: PubMed


Gene-targeting in embryonic stem cells has been the dominant genetic approach when engineering mouse models to query the physiologic importance of the progesterone receptor (PR). Although these models have been instrumental in disclosing the in vivo significance of the progesterone signaling pathway, generation of such mice exacts considerable expenditure of time, effort, and expense. Considering the growing list of new PR mouse models that are urgently required to address the next questions in progestin biology, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) recombineering in conjunction with transgenesis was evaluated as an alternative method to accelerate the creation of these models in the future. Using this approach, we describe the generation of three PR-BAC(iCre) transgenic lines in which improved Cre recombinase (iCre) was targeted in-frame, downstream, and under the control of the PR promoter contained within a BAC transgene. Crossing with the ROSA26R revealed that the PR-BAC(iCre) transgenic expresses active iCre only in cell-lineages that express the PR. The specificity of the PR-BAC(iCre) transgene not only underscores the importance of BAC-mediated transgenesis as a quick, easy, and affordable method by which to engineer the next generation of PR mouse models, but also provides a unique opportunity to investigate transcriptional control of PR expression as well as PR structure-function relationships in vivo.

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    ABSTRACT: Through an established gene-targeting strategy, reverse tetracycline-dependent transactivator (rtTA) was targeted downstream of the murine progesterone receptor (PR) promoter. Mice were generated in which one (PR(+/rtTA)) or both (PR(rtTA/rtTA)) PR alleles harbor the rtTA insertion. The PR(+/rtTA) and PR(rtTA/rtTA) knockins exhibit phenotypes identical to the normal and the progesterone receptor knockout mouse, respectively. Crossed with the TZA reporter, which carries the TetO-LacZ responder transgene, the PR(+/rtTA)/TZA and PR(rtTA/rtTA)/TZA bigenics exhibit doxycycline-induced beta-galactosidase activity specifically in progesterone responsive target tissues such as the mammary gland, uterus, ovary, and pituitary gland. In the case of the PR(+/rtTA)/TZA mammary epithelium, dual immunofluorescence demonstrated that PR expression and doxycycline-induced beta-galactosidase activity colocalized; beta-galactosidase was not detected in the absence of doxycycline. Although both the PR(+/rtTA) and PR(rtTA/rtTA) knockins represent innovative animal models with which to further query progesterone's mechanism of action in vivo, the PR(rtTA/rtTA) mouse in particular promises to provide unique insight into the paracrine mechanism of action, which underpins progesterone's involvement in mammary morphogenesis with obvious implications for extending our understanding of this steroid's role in breast cancer progression.
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    ABSTRACT: Considering the regulatory complexities of progesterone receptor (PR) action throughout the female reproductive axis and mammary gland, we generated a mouse model that enables conditional ablation of PR function in a spatiotemporal specific manner. Exon 2 of the murine PR gene was floxed to generate a conditional PR allele (PR(flox)) in mice. Crossing the PR(flox/flox) mouse with the ZP3-cre transgenic demonstrated that the PR(flox) allele recombines to a PR null allele (PR(d)). Mice homozygous for the recombined null PR allele (PR(d/d)) exhibit uterine, ovarian, and mammary gland defects that phenocopy those of our previously described PR knockout (PRKO) model. Therefore, this conditional mouse model for PR ablation represents an invaluable resource with which to further define in a developmental and/or reproductive stage-specific manner the individual and integrative roles of distinct PR populations resident in multiple progesterone-responsive target sites.
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