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Chunchun Wei, Xianhua Ma, Kai Su, Shasha Qi, Yuangang Zhu, Junjian Lin, Chenxin Wang, Rui Yang, Xiaowei Chen, Weizhong Wang, and Weiping J Zhang

inserted at the Rosa26 locus by gene targeting in ES cells. The Neo expression cassette used for positive selection in ES cells was removed in germline by Flp/FRT recombination before backcrossing of ChREBP-β T/+ mice with UCP1-Cre mice. In brown

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Malin Fex, Nils Wierup, Marloes Dekker Nitert, Michael Ristow, and Hindrik Mulder

Introduction Gene inactivation, using the Cre/LoxP system, is an essential technique in tissue-specific gene targeting. The rat insulin promoter 2-Cre recombinase (RIP2-Cre) mouse (also called RIP-Cre or B6.Cg-Tg (Ins2-cre) 25 Mgn

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Timothy J Cole and Morag J Young

. Complete ablation of the mouse MR gene in mice The first MR-deficient or null mouse model was developed almost 20 years ago by Schutz and coworkers using the technology of gene-targeting in embryonic stem cells ( Berger et al . 1998 ). Mice lacking the

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Sean C Lema, Jon T Dickey, Irvin R Schultz, and Penny Swanson

( Matta et al . 2002 ). While these and other studies have established diverse roles for THs in the growth, development, and behavior of fish (reviewed by Power et al . 2001 , Yamano 2005 ), little is known about gene targets for TH action in teleosts

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Zhen-Chuan Fan, James L Sartin, and Ya-Xiong Tao

. The recent gene targeting study by Zhang et al . (2005) showed that Black Swiss 129 mice lacking MC3R gene had a comparable level of adiposity as mice lacking the MC4R gene. In humans, only a few naturally occurring mutations in the MC3R gene

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Therese Standal, Rachelle W Johnson, Narelle E McGregor, Ingrid J Poulton, Patricia W M Ho, T John Martin, and Natalie A Sims

depend on the promiscuous co-receptor glycoprotein 130 (gp130) for signaling (reviewed in Sims & Walsh (2010) ), and gp130 expression by the osteoblast lineage is also stimulated by PTH ( Romas et al . 1996 ). Many of the actions and gene targets of IL

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Virginia Rider, Kazuto Isuzugawa, Meryl Twarog, Stacy Jones, Brent Cameron, Kazuhiko Imakawa, and Jianwen Fang

Progesterone pretreatment of ovariectomized rat uteri increases the number of synchronously proliferating stromal cells in response to estradiol 17-β. To identify the signals involved in stimulating synchronous proliferation, sexually mature ovariectomized rats were injected with progesterone (2 mg) for 3 consecutive days. Estradiol 17-β (0.2 μg) was administered to initiate cell cycle entry. Uterine samples were removed at various times after hormone administration and changes in wingless (Wnt) pathway effectors and gene targets were identified by microarray. Progesterone pretreatment decreased glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and increased expression of T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF). GSK-3β protein decreased markedly in the uterine stroma of progesterone-pretreated uteri with the concomitant appearance of β-catenin in these stromal cells. Translocation of β-catenin from the cytosol to the nuclei in progesterone-pretreated stromal cells was stimulated in response to estradiol. β-Catenin binding to TCF/LEF increased (P<0.05) in progesterone-pretreated uteri in response to estradiol. Progesterone stimulated the expression of the Wnt target gene urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPA-R) in the periluminal uterine stromal cells. The expression of uPA-R increased in progesterone-pretreated stromal cells in response to estradiol administration. Together, the results indicate that progesterone initiates Wnt signaling in the uterine stroma by down-regulating GSK-3β. However, nuclear translocation of β-catenin and sufficient complex formation with TCF/LEF to activate stromal cell cycle entry requires estradiol. Stimulation of a uterine stromal cell line to proliferate and differentiate resulted in β-catenin accumulation, suggesting that endocrine-dependent Wnt signaling controls proliferation and differentiation (decidualization).

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Paul W Caton, Nanda K Nayuni, Julius Kieswich, Noorafza Q Khan, Muhammed M Yaqoob, and Roger Corder

Abnormal elevation of hepatic gluconeogenesis is central to the onset of hyperglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Metformin corrects hyperglycaemia through inhibition of gluconeogenesis, but its mechanism of action is yet to be fully described. SIRT1 and GCN5 (listed as KAT2A in the MGI Database) have recently been identified as regulators of gluconeogenic gene expression through modulation of levels and activity of the coactivators cAMP-response element binding protein-regulated transcription coactivator 2 (TORC2 or CRTC2 as listed in the MGI Database) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC1α or PPARGC1A as listed in the MGI Database). We report that in db/db mice, metformin (250 mg/kg per day; 7 days) increases hepatic levels of GCN5 protein and mRNA compared with the untreated db/db mice, as well as increases levels of SIRT1 protein and activity relative to controls and untreated db/db mice. These changes were associated with reduced TORC2 protein level and decreased gene expression and activation of the PGC1α gene target phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, and lower plasma glucose and insulin. Inhibition of SIRT1 partially blocked the effects of metformin on gluconeogenesis. SIRT1 was increased through an AMP-activated protein kinase-mediated increase in gene expression of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, the rate-limiting enzyme of the salvage pathway for NAD+. Moreover, levels of GCN5 were dramatically reduced in db/db mice compared with the controls. This indicates that loss of GCN5-mediated inhibition of gluconeogenesis appears to constitute a major mechanism for the onset of abnormally elevated hepatic glucose production in db/db mice. In conclusion, induction of GCN5 and SIRT1 potentially represents a critical mechanism of action of metformin. In addition, these data identify induction of hepatic GCN5 as a potential therapeutic strategy for treatment of T2DM.

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B Dabovic, Y Chen, C Colarossi, L Zambuto, H Obata, and DB Rifkin

The latent transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta binding proteins (LTBP)-1, -3 and -4 bind the latent form of the multipotent cytokine TGF-beta. To examine the function of the LTBPs, we made a null mutation of Ltbp-3 by gene targeting. The homozygous mutant animals developed cranio-facial malformations by 12 days. By three months, there was a pronounced rounding of the cranial vault, extension of the mandible beyond the maxilla, and kyphosis. The mutant animals developed osteosclerosis of the long bones and vertebrae as well as osteoarthritis between 6 and 9 months of age. These latter phenotypic changes were similar to those described for mice that have impaired TGF-beta signaling. Thus, we suggest that Ltbp-3 plays an important role in regulating TGF-beta bioavailability as the phenotype of the Ltbp-3 null mouse appears to result from decreased TGF-beta signaling. Histological examination of the skulls from null animals revealed no effects on calvarial suture closure. However, the synchondroses in the skull base were obliterated within 2 weeks of birth. This is in contrast to the wild-type synchondroses, which remain unossified throughout the life of the animal and enable growth of the skull base through endochondral ossification. Histological changes in mutant basooccipital-basosphenoid synchondrosis were observed 1.5 days after birth. Compared with wild-type or heterozygous littermates, the basooccipital-basosphenoid synchondrosis of Ltbp-3 null mice contained increased numbers of hypertrophic chondrocytes. The expression of bone sialoprotein-1 (a marker for osteoblasts) was observed in cells surrounding the synchondrosis at postnatal day 1.5 indicating ectopic ossification. The expression of Indian hedgehog (Ihh) (a marker for chondrocytes committed to hypertrophic differentiation) was found through the basooccipital-basosphenoid synchondrosis, whereas the expression of parathyroid hormone related protein (PTHrP), which inhibits chondrocyte differentiation, appeared to be diminished in Ltbp-3 null mice. This suggests that Ltbp-3 may control chondrocyte differentiation by regulating TGF-beta availability. TGF-beta may regulate PTHrP expression either downstream of Ihh or independently of Ihh signaling.

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R Morishita, GH Gibbons, Y Kaneda, L Zhang, T Ogihara, and VJ Dzau

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease results from complex interactions among multiple genetic and environmental factors. Thus, it is important to elucidate the influence of each factor on cholesterol metabolism. For this purpose, transgenic/gene-targeting technology is a powerful tool for studying gene functions. However, this technology has several disadvantages such as being time consuming and expensive. Accordingly, we established new animal models using in vivo gene transfer technology. In this study, we examined the feasibility of the creation of a new animal model for the study of atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that apolipoprotein (apo) E-deficient mice can be created by systemic administration of antisense apo E oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) coupled to the HVJ-liposome complex. Initially, we examined the localization and cellular fate of FITC-labeled antisense ODN administered intravenously. FITC-labeled ODN transfection by the HVJ-liposome method resulted in fluorescence in the liver, spleen and kidney, but not in other organs such as brain. Moreover, fluorescence with the HVJ-liposome method was sustained for up to 2 weeks after transfection, which resulted in a striking difference from transfection of ODN alone or ODN in liposomes without HVJ, which showed rapid disappearance of fluorescence (within 1 day). Given these unique characteristics of the HVJ-liposome method, we next examined transfection of antisense apo E ODN by intravenous administration. Transfection of antisense apo E ODN resulted in a marked reduction of apo E mRNA levels in the liver, but no change in apo B and beta-actin mRNA levels. In mice fed a normal diet, a transient increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels was observed in the antisense apo E-treated group, but they returned to normal levels by 6 days after transfection. Similar findings were also found in mice fed a high cholesterol diet. Neither scrambled nor mismatched ODN resulted in any increase in cholesterol. To make chronic hypercholesterolemic mice, we therefore performed repeated injections of apo E antisense ODN. Whenever antisense apo E ODN were injected, mice showed a transient increase in cholesterol and triglyceride. Cumulative administration of antisense apo E ODN resulted in a sustained increase in cholesterol for up to 3 weeks after the last transfection. Finally, mice treated with repeated injections of antisense apo E every week developed sustained hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia until withdrawal of injections. Apolipoprotein-deficient mice created by intravenous administration of antisense ODN are a promising new animal model to help understand the role of apolipoprotein in vivo and develop a new drug therapy targeting apolipoprotein.