• transgenic mice;
  • villin;
  • intestine;
  • transgene induction;
  • tet-on;
  • doxycycline


To develop a sensitive and inducible system to study intestinal biology, we generated a transgenic mouse model expressing the reverse tetracycline transactivator rtTA2-M2 under control of the 12.4 kb murine Villin promoter. The newly generated Villin-rtTA2-M2 mice were then bred with the previously developed tetO-HIST1H2BJ/GFP model to assess inducibility and tissue-specificity. Expression of the histone H2B-GFP fusion protein was observed exclusively upon doxycycline induction and was uniformly distributed throughout the intestinal epithelium. The Villin-rtTA2-M2 was also found to drive transgene expression in the developing mouse intestine. Furthermore, we could detect transgene expression in the proximal tubules of the kidney and in a population of alleged gastric progenitor cells. By administering different concentrations of doxycycline, we show that the Villin-rtTA2-M2 system drives transgene expression in a dosage-dependent fashion. Thus, we have generated a novel doxycycline-inducible mouse model, providing a valuable tool to study the effect of different gene dosages on intestinal physiology and pathology. genesis 47:7–13, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.