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MLC-2v is a myosin light chain regulatory protein which is specifically expressed in ventricular cardiomyocytes and slow twitch skeletal muscle cells. MLC-2v plays critical roles in ventricular maturation during heart development. Mice lacking MLC-2v are embryonic lethal due to heart failure associated with abnormal myofibrillar organization of ventricular cardiomyocytes. To study the development of ventricular cardiac muscle and slow twitch skeletal muscle, we generated a new MLC-2v reporter mouse line by knocking-in a tdTomato reporter cassette into 3' UTR of the MLC-2v gene without disrupting the endogenous gene. Our results demonstrated specific MLC-2v-tdTomato knock-in reporter expression in ventricular cardiomyocytes and slow twitch muscle during myogenesis, precisely recapitulating the spatiotemporal expression pattern of endogenous MLC-2v. No tdTomato expression was observed in the atria, fast twitch muscle or other organs throughout development into adulthood. Isolated neonatal and adult ventricular cardiomyocytes uniformly express tdTomato. Taken together, MLC-2v-tdTomato knock-in reporter mouse model described in this article will serve as a valuable tool to study cardiac chamber and skeletal muscle specification during development and regeneration by overcoming the pitfalls of transgenic strategies.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
We used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to knock-in reporter transgenes at the kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) locus and isolated human proximal tubule cell (HK-2) clones. PCR verified targeted knock-in of the luciferase and eGFP reporter at the KIM-1 locus. HK-2-KIM-1 reporter cells responded to various stimuli including hypoxia, cisplatin, and high glucose, indicative of upregulation of KIM-1 expression. We attempted using CRISPR/Cas9 to also engineer the KIM-1 reporter in telomerase-immortalized human RPTEC cells. However, these cells demonstrated an inability to undergo homologous recombination at the target locus. KIM-1-reporter human proximal tubular cells could be valuable tools in drug discovery for molecules inhibiting kidney injury. Additionally, our gene targeting strategy could be used in other cell lines to evaluate the biology of KIM-1 in vitro or in vivo.
Engagement of integrins by the extracellular matrix initiates signaling cascades that drive a variety of cellular functions, including neuronal migration and axonal pathfinding in the brain. Multiple lines of evidence link the gene encoding the integrin β3 subunit with the serotonin (5-HT) system, likely via its modulation of the 5-HT transporter (SERT). The coding polymorphism Leu33Pro (rs5918, Pl) produces hyperactive αvβ3 receptors that influence whole-blood 5-HT levels and may influence the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a phenome-wide scan of psychiatric diagnoses, we found significant, male-specific associations between the Pro33 allele and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and ASDs. Here, we used knock-in (KI) mice expressing an variant that phenocopies the human Pro33 variant to elucidate the consequences of constitutively enhanced αvβ3 signaling to the 5-HT system in the brain. KI mice displayed deficits in multiple behaviors, including anxiety, repetitive, and social behaviors. Anatomical studies revealed a significant decrease in 5-HT synapses in the midbrain, accompanied by decreases in SERT activity and reduced localization of SERTs to integrin adhesion complexes in synapses of KI mice. Inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) rescued SERT function in synapses of KI mice, demonstrating that constitutive active FAK signaling downstream of the Pro32Pro33 integrin αvβ3 suppresses SERT activity. Our studies identify a complex regulation of 5-HT homeostasis and behaviors by integrin αvβ3, revealing an important role for integrins in modulating risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. The integrin β3 Leu33Pro coding polymorphism has been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) within a subgroup of patients with elevated blood 5-HT levels, linking integrin β3, 5-HT, and ASD risk. We capitalized on these interactions to demonstrate that the Pro33 coding variation in the murine integrin β3 recapitulates the sex-dependent neurochemical and behavioral attributes of ASD. Using state-of-the-art techniques, we show that presynaptic 5-HT function is altered in these mice, and that the localization of 5-HT transporters to specific compartments within the synapse, disrupted by the integrin β3 Pro33 mutation, is critical for appropriate reuptake of 5-HT. Our studies provide fundamental insight into the genetic network regulating 5-HT neurotransmission in the CNS that is also associated with ASD risk.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3711272-14$15.00/0.
BACKGROUND - The CRISPR/Cas9 system is increasingly used for gene inactivation in mouse zygotes, but homology-directed mutagenesis and use of inbred embryos are less established. In particular, Rosa26 knock-in alleles for the insertion of transgenes in a genomic 'safe harbor' site, have not been produced. Here we applied CRISPR/Cas9 for the knock-in of 8-11 kb inserts into Rosa26 of C57BL/6 zygotes.
RESULTS - We found that 10-20 % of live pups derived from microinjected zygotes were founder mutants, without apparent off-target effects, and up to 50 % knock-in embryos were recovered upon coinjection of Cas9 mRNA and protein. Using this approach, we established a new mouse line for the Cre/loxP-dependent expression of Cas9.
CONCLUSIONS - Altogether, our protocols and resources support the fast and direct generation of new Rosa26 knock-in alleles and of Cas9-mediated in vivo gene editing in the widely used C57BL/6 inbred strain.
Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) autophosphorylation at Thr286 and Thr305/Thr306 regulates kinase activity and modulates subcellular targeting and is critical for normal synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Here, a mass spectrometry-based approach was used to identify Ca(2+)-dependent and -independent in vitro autophosphorylation sites in recombinant CaMKIIα and CaMKIIβ. CaMKII holoenzymes were then immunoprecipitated from subcellular fractions of forebrains isolated from either wild-type (WT) mice or mice with a Thr286 to Ala knock-in mutation of CaMKIIα (T286A-KI mice) and analyzed using the same approach in order to characterize in vivo phosphorylation sites in both CaMKII isoforms and identify CaMKII-associated proteins (CaMKAPs). A total of six and seven autophosphorylation sites in CaMKIIα and CaMKIIβ, respectively, were detected in WT mice. Thr286-phosphorylated CaMKIIα and Thr287-phosphorylated CaMKIIβ were selectively enriched in WT Triton-insoluble (synaptic) fractions compared to Triton-soluble (membrane) and cytosolic fractions. In contrast, Thr306-phosphorylated CaMKIIα and Ser315- and Thr320/Thr321-phosphorylated CaMKIIβ were selectively enriched in WT cytosolic fractions. The T286A-KI mutation significantly reduced levels of phosphorylation of CaMKIIα at Ser275 across all subcellular fractions and of cytosolic CaMKIIβ at Ser315 and Thr320/Thr321. Significantly more CaMKAPs coprecipitated with WT CaMKII holoenzymes in the synaptic fraction compared to that in the membrane fraction, with functions including scaffolding, microtubule organization, actin organization, ribosomal function, vesicle trafficking, and others. The T286A-KI mutation altered the interactions of multiple CaMKAPs with CaMKII, including several proteins linked to autism spectrum disorders. These data identify CaMKII isoform phosphorylation sites and a network of synaptic protein interactions that are sensitive to the abrogation of Thr286 autophosphorylation of CaMKIIα, likely contributing to the diverse synaptic and behavioral deficits of T286A-KI mice.
CRISPR-Cas9 is a versatile genome editing technology for studying the functions of genetic elements. To broadly enable the application of Cas9 in vivo, we established a Cre-dependent Cas9 knockin mouse. We demonstrated in vivo as well as ex vivo genome editing using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-, lentivirus-, or particle-mediated delivery of guide RNA in neurons, immune cells, and endothelial cells. Using these mice, we simultaneously modeled the dynamics of KRAS, p53, and LKB1, the top three significantly mutated genes in lung adenocarcinoma. Delivery of a single AAV vector in the lung generated loss-of-function mutations in p53 and Lkb1, as well as homology-directed repair-mediated Kras(G12D) mutations, leading to macroscopic tumors of adenocarcinoma pathology. Together, these results suggest that Cas9 mice empower a wide range of biological and disease modeling applications.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Activation of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote neointimal hyperplasia after vascular injury. CaMKII can be directly activated by ROS through oxidation. In this study, we determined whether abolishing the oxidative activation site of CaMKII alters vascular smooth muscle cell (VCMC) proliferation, migration and apoptosis in vitro and neointimal formation in vivo. VSMC isolated from a knock-in mouse with oxidation-resistant CaMKIIδ (CaMKII M2V) displayed similar proliferation but decreased migration and apoptosis. Surprisingly, ROS production and expression of the NADPH oxidase subunits p47 and p22 were decreased in M2V VSMC, whereas superoxide dismutase 2 protein expression was upregulated. In vivo, after carotid artery ligation, no differences in neointimal size or remodeling were observed. In contrast to VSMC, CaMKII expression and autonomous activity were significantly higher in M2V compared to WT carotid arteries, suggesting that an autoregulatory mechanism determines CaMKII activity in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that preventing oxidative activation of CaMKII decreases migration and apoptosis in vitro and suggest that CaMKII regulates ROS production. Our study presents novel evidence that CaMKII expression in vivo is regulated by a negative feedback loop following oxidative activation.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Alterations in dopamine (DA) signaling underlie the most widely held theories of molecular and circuit level perturbations that lead to risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The DA transporter (DAT), a presynaptic reuptake protein whose activity provides critical support for DA signaling by limiting DA action at pre- and postsynaptic receptors, has been consistently associated with ADHD through pharmacological, behavioral, brain imaging and genetic studies. Currently, the animal models of ADHD exhibit significant limitations, stemming in large part from their lack of construct validity. To remedy this situation, we have pursued the creation of a mouse model derived from a functional nonsynonymous variant in the DAT gene (SLC6A3) of ADHD probands. We trace our path from the identification of these variants to in vitro biochemical and physiological studies to the production of the DAT Val559 mouse model. We discuss our initial findings with these animals and their promise in the context of existing rodent models of ADHD.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Nkx2.2 is a homeodomain-containing transcriptional regulator necessary for the appropriate differentiation of ventral neuronal populations in the spinal cord and hindbrain, and endocrine cell populations in the pancreas and intestine. In each tissue, Nkx2.2 inactivation leads to reciprocal cell fate alterations. To confirm the cell fate changes are due to respecification of Nkx2.2-expressing progenitors and to provide a novel tool for lineage tracing in the pancreas and CNS, we generated an Nkx2.2:Cre mouse line by knocking in a Cre-EGFP cassette into the Nkx2.2 genomic locus and inactivating endogenous Nkx2.2. The R26R-CAG-LSL-tdTomato reporter was used to monitor the specificity and efficiency of Nkx2.2:Cre activity; the tomato reporter faithfully recapitulated endogenous Nkx2.2 expression and could be detected as early as embryonic day (e) 9.25 in the developing CNS and was initiated shortly thereafter at e9.5 in the pancreas. Lineage analyses in the CNS confirmed the cell populations thought to be derived from Nkx2.2-expressing progenitor domains. Furthermore, lineage studies verified Nkx2.2 expression in the earliest pancreatic progenitors that give rise to all cell types of the pancreas; however they also revealed more robust Cre activity in the dorsal versus ventral pancreas. Thus, the Nkx2.2:Cre line provides a novel tool for gene manipulations in the CNS and pancreas.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.