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Keywords:

  • transforming growth factor beta;
  • cardiovascular;
  • cancer;
  • craniofacial;
  • wound healing;
  • autoimmunity;
  • neuromuscular

Abstract

The transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) pathway is involved in embryonic development and several inherited and acquired human diseases. The gene for TGFβ3 (Tgfb3) encodes one of the three ligands for TGFβ receptors. It is widely expressed in the embryo and its mutation or misexpression is found in human diseases. Tgfb3−/− mice die at birth from cleft palate, precluding functional studies in adults. Here, we generated mice in which exon 6 of Tgfb3 was flanked with LoxP sites (Tgfb3flox/flox). The adult mice were normal and fertile. EIIa-Cre-mediated deletion of exon 6 in Tgfb3flox/flox mice efficiently generated Tgfb3 conditional knockout (Tgfb3cko/cko) mice which died at birth from the same cleft palate defect as Tgfb3−/− mice, indicating that the conditional and knockout alleles are functionally equivalent. This Tgfb3cko allele will now enable studies of TGFβ3 function in different cell or tissue types in embryonic development and during adulthood. genesis 50:59–66, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.