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A new tool for conditional gene manipulation in a subset of keratin-expressing epithelia.

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      Megsin is a serine protease inhibitor (Serpin) that has known expression in kidney mesangial cells. Here, we report the generation and characterization of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgene expressing Cre under the control of Megsin regulatory elements. When crossed to the ROSA26R-lacZ reporter mice, the Megsin-Cre transgene mediates loxP recombination primarily in the skin, forestomach, and esophagus, but surprisingly not in the mesangial cells. Within the skin, cells in all epidermal layers and the hair follicle cells expressed Cre. This transgene also has uniform expression in the epithelium of the forestomach and esophagus. Conditional deletion of Adam10, a gene known to have important functions in skin development, by using this Megsin-Cre transgene led to severe skin defects. In addition, these mutants appear to have reduced folds and surface area in the forestomach. These results show that the Megsin-Cre transgene can mediate loxP-recombination in all epidermal layers of the skin, the hair follicle cells, as well as in the epithelium of the forestomach and esophagus, all of which have known expression of various keratins. This Megsin-Cre transgene can serve as a new tool for conditional genetic manipulation to study development and diseases in the skin and the upper digestive tract.

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      [1 ] Renal Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
      Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000)
      Dec 2012
      : 50
      : 12
      Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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