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Renal medullary interstitial cells (RMIC) are specialized fibroblast-like cells that exert important functions in maintaining body fluid homeostasis and systemic blood pressure. Here, we generated a RMIC specific tenascin-C promoter driven inducible CreER2 knockin mouse line with an EGFP reporter. Similar as endogenous tenascin-C expression, the reporter EGFP expression in the tenascin-C-CreER2(+/-) mice was observed in the inner medulla of the kidney, and co-localized with COX2 but not with AQP2 or AQP1, suggesting selective expression in RMICs. After recombination (tenascin-C-CreER2(+/-)/ROSA26-lacZ(+/-) mice + tamoxifen), β-gal activity was restricted to the cells in the inner medulla of the kidney, and didn't co-localize with AQP2, consistent with selective Cre recombinase activity in RMICs. Cre activity was not obvious in other major organs or without tamoxifen treatment. This inducible RMIC specific Cre mouse line should therefore provide a novel tool to manipulate genes of interest in RMICs.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease characterized by multiorgan benign tumors as well as neurological manifestations. Epilepsy and autism are two of the more prevalent neurological complications and are usually severe. TSC is caused by mutations in either the TSC1 (encodes hamartin) or the TSC2 (encodes tuberin) genes with TSC2 mutations being associated with worse outcomes. Tuberin contains a highly conserved GTPase-activating protein (GAP) domain that indirectly inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). mTORC1 dysregulation is currently thought to cause much of the pathogenesis in TSC but mTORC1-independent mechanisms may also contribute. We generated a novel conditional allele of Tsc2 by flanking exons 36 and 37 with loxP sites. Mice homozygous for this knock-in Tsc2 allele are viable and fertile with normal appearing growth and development. Exposure to Cre recombinase then creates an in-frame deletion involving critical residues of the GAP domain. Homozygous conditional mutant mice generated using Emx1(Cre) have increased cortical mTORC1 signaling, severe developmental brain anomalies, seizures, and die within 3 weeks. We found that the normal levels of the mutant Tsc2 mRNA, though GAP-deficient tuberin protein, appear unstable and rapidly degraded. This novel animal model will allow further study of tuberin function including the requirement of the GAP domain for protein stability.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
A new transgenic mouse model for global increases in the Sodium Dependent Vitamin C transporter 2 (SVCT2) has been generated. The SVCT2-Tg mouse shows increased SVCT2 mRNA levels in all organs tested and correspondingly increased ascorbic acid (ASC) levels in all organs except liver. The extent of the increase in transporter mRNA expression differed among mice and among organs. The increased ASC levels did not have any adverse effects on behavior in the SVCT2-Tg mice, which did not differ from wild-type mice on tests of locomotor activity, anxiety, sensorimotor or cognitive ability. High levels of SVCT2 and ASC were found in the kidneys of SVCT2-Tg mice and urinary albumin excretion was lower in these mice than in wild-types. No gross pathological changes were noted in kidneys from SVCT2-Tg mice. SVCT2 immunoreactivity was detected in both SVCT2 and wild-type mice, and a stronger signal was seen in tubules than in glomeruli. Six treatments with Paraquat (3x10 and 3x15 mg/kg i.p.) were used to induce oxidative stress in mice. SVCT2-Tg mice showed a clear attenuation of Paraquat-induced oxidative stress in lung, as measured by F(2)-isoprostanes. Paraquat also decreased SVCT2 mRNA signal in liver, lung and kidney in SVCT2-Tg mice.
To facilitate the use of the new mutant resource developed in the mouse, we have generated Cre and FlpO deleter mice on a pure inbred C57BL/6N background. The new transgenic constructs were designed to drive either the Cre or FlpO recombinase, fused to a specific fluorescent marker, respectively the eGFP or the eYFP, and were inserted by homologous recombination in the neutral Rosa26 locus. They allow a rapid, cost-effective, and efficient identification of the carrier individuals through the coexpression of the fluorescent marker. The recombination efficiency of the two deleter lines, Gt(ROSA)26S or < tm1(ACTB-cre,-EGFP)Ics> and Gt(ROSA) 26S or < tm2(CAG-flpo, EYFP)Ics>, was carefully evaluated using five loxP-flanked or four FRT-flanked alleles located at different positions in the mouse genome. For each tested locus, we observed a 100% excision rate. The transgenic mice are easily distinguishable from wild type animals by their bright fluorescence that remains easily detectable until 10 days after birth. In the adult, fluorescence can still be detected in the unpigmented paws. Furthermore, they both display accumulation of the specific recombinase during oogenesis. These fluorescent 'Cre- and Flp- deleter' transgenic lines are valuable tools for the scientific community by their high and stable recombination efficiency, the simplicity of genotype identification and the maintenance of a pure genetic background when used to remove specific selection cassette or to induce complete loss-of-function allele.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Founder mutations are an important cause of Lynch syndrome and facilitate genetic testing in specific ethnic populations. Two putative founder mutations in MSH6 were analyzed in 2685 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases, 337 endometrial cancer (EnCa) cases and 3310 healthy controls of Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) descent from population-based and hospital-based case–control studies in Israel, Canada and the United States. The carriers were haplotyped and the age of the mutations was estimated. MSH6*c.3984_3987dupGTCA was found in 8/2685 CRC cases, 2/337 EnCa cases, and 1/3310 controls, consistent with a high risk of CRC (odds ratio (OR) = 9.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2–78.9, p = 0.0079) and a very high risk of EnCa (OR = 19.6, 95% CI = 1.8–217.2, p = 0.0006). MSH6*c.3959_3962delCAAG was identified in 3/2685 CRC cases, 2/337 EnCa cases and no controls. Each mutation was observed on separate conserved haplotypes. MSH6*c.3984_3987dupGTCA and MSH6*c.3959_3962delCAAG probably arose around 585 CE and 685 CE, respectively. No carriers were identified in Sephardi Jews (450 cases and 490 controls). Truncating mutations MSH6*c.3984_3987dupGTCA and MSH6*c.3959_3962delCAAG cause Lynch syndrome and are founder mutations in Ashkenazi Jews. Together with other AJ founder mutations, they contribute substantially to the incidence of CRC and EnCa and are important tools for the early diagnosis and appropriate management of AJ Lynch syndrome patients.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting more males than females. Heritability estimates for autism can rise above 90%, and genes influencing the serotonin system are strong candidates for autism susceptibility genes, as drugs selectively acting on the serotonin system are some of the most effective treatments for maladaptive behaviors seen in autism. ITGB3 was recently identified as a male quantitative trait locus (QTL) for whole-blood serotonin levels in the Hutterites (P = 0.0003). Here, we demonstrate associations between variation in ITGB3 and serotonin levels in two outbred samples (P = 0.010 and 0.015). Lastly, we show that a coding variant of ITGB3 is associated with autism susceptibility in a large multiplex sample (P = 0.00082), and that this variation has different effects in males and females (P = 0.0018).
Human tissues acquire somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations with age. Very high levels of specific mtDNA mutations accumulate within individual cells, causing a defect of mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. This is a fundamental property of nondividing tissues, but it is not known how it comes about. To explore this problem, we developed a model of mtDNA replication within single human cells. Using this model, we show that relaxed replication of mtDNA alone can lead, through random genetic drift, to the clonal expansion of single mutant events during human life. Significant expansions primarily develop from mutations acquired during a critical period in childhood or early adult life.
A genomewide screen for asthma- and atopy-susceptibility loci was conducted, using 563 markers, in 693 Hutterites who are members of a single 15-generation pedigree, nearly doubling the sample size from the authors' earlier studies. The resulting increase in power led to the identification of 23 loci in 18 chromosomal regions showing evidence for linkage that is, in general, 10-fold more significant (P<.001 vs. P<.01) than the linkages reported previously in this population. Moreover, linkages to loci in 11 chromosomal regions were identified for the first time in the Hutterites in this report, including five regions (5p, 5q, 8p, 14q, and 16q) showing evidence both of linkage, by the likelihood ratio (LR) chi(2), and of disequilibrium, by the transmission/disequilibrium test. A region on chromosome 19 continues to show evidence for linkage, by both tests, in this study. Studies of 17 candidate genes provide evidence for association with variation in the IL4RA gene (16p12), the HLA class II genes (6p21), and the interferon-alpha gene cluster (9p22), but the lack of evidence for linkage in these regions by the LR chi(2) test suggests that these are minor susceptibility loci. A polymorphism in the CD14 gene is in linkage disequilibrium with an as yet unidentified susceptibility allele in the 5q cytokine cluster, a region showing evidence for linkage among the Hutterites. Finally, 10 of the regions showing evidence for linkage in the Hutterites have shown evidence of linkage to related phenotypes in other genome screens, suggesting that these regions may contain common alleles that have relatively large effects on asthma and atopy phenotypes in diverse populations.
A genome-wide screen for loci influencing positive skin prick tests (SPT) to airborne allergens was conducted in the Hutterites, a founder population of European ancestry. Positive SPT to 14 standardized allergens was measured in 370 subjects in our primary sample and 324 subjects in a replication sample. Evidence for linkage to positive SPT was assessed using the transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) with 337 autosomal markers (average spacing 9.13 cM, SD = 7.8 cM). Three loci showed the strongest overall evidence of linkage to atopy, with at least one allele-specific and a locus-specific p< 1 x 10(-4). This study provides evidence for at least three atopy-susceptibility loci in the Hutterites on chromosomes 1, 6 and 16.