Generation and characterization of Atoh1-Cre knock-in mouse line

Authors

  • Hua Yang,

    1. Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
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  • Xiaoling Xie,

    1. Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
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  • Min Deng,

    1. Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
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  • Xiaowei Chen,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
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  • Lin Gan

    Corresponding author
    1. Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    2. Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    3. Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    • Flaum Eye Institute, Center for Visual Science, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
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Abstract

Atoh1 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor required for the development of the inner ear sensory epithelia, the dorsal spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum, and intestinal secretory cells. In this study, to create a genetic tool for the research on gene function in the ear sensory organs, we generated an Atoh1-Cre knock-in mouse line by replacing the entire Atoh1 coding sequences with the Cre coding sequences. Atoh1Cre/+ mice were viable, fertile, and displayed no visible defects whereas the Atoh1Cre/Cre mice died perinatally. The spatiotemporal activities of Cre recombinase were examined by crossing Atoh1-Cre mice with the R26R-lacZ conditional reporter mice. Atoh1-Cre activities were detected in the developing inner ear, the hindbrain, the spinal cord, and the intestine. In the inner ear, Atoh1-Cre activities were confined to the sensory organs in which lacZ expression is detected in nearly all of the hair cells and in many supporting cells. Thus, Atoh1-Cre mouse line serves as a useful tool for the functional study of genes in the inner ear. In addition, our results demonstrate that Atoh1 is expressed in the common progenitors destined for both hair and supporting cells. genesis 48:407–413, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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