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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of beta-galactosidase under the control of the human c-myc promoter in transgenic mice is inhibited by mithramycin.

In order to assess the functional contribution of the human c-myc promoter region in the expression of the c-myc gene, transgenic mouse lines containing a bacterial lac Z gene encoding beta-galactosidase under the control of the human c-myc protooncogene promoter were generated. Transgenic mouse embryos heterozygous for the human c-myc Z transgene demonstrate high amounts of beta-galactosidase activity as early as day 11 of embryogenesis by histochemical staining of whole embryos using 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside (X-Gal) as substrate, localizing specifically to early spinal cord tissue. beta-galactosidase activity can be demonstrated by histochemical staining in brain tissue of day 14 embryos, localizing mainly to the prefrontal cortex region, while relative amounts of beta-galactosidase in spinal cord tissue are reduced. Determination of specific activity of beta-galactosidase using resorufin-beta-galactopyranoside as substrate in homogenates of whole embryos heterozygous for the human c-myc/lac Z transgene demonstrates significantly elevated beta-galactosidase activity over control embryos in day 11 and day 14 embryos. Surprisingly, cell homogenates of brain tissue from adult G1 generation mice heterozygous for the human c-myc/lac Z transgene demonstrate greater than 10-fold higher specific activity of beta-galactosidase over normal control brain tissue. Specific inhibition of the c-myc/lac Z transgene was also demonstrated in developing embryos using mithramycin given at a dose of 150 micrograms kg-1 d-1 intraperitoneal to pregnant females on days 7-13 of gestation. Both histochemical staining of beta-galactosidase and specific activity assays of day 14 embryos demonstrated significantly lower levels of beta-galactosidase than untreated controls. These results are unique since we are able to detect expression of beta-galactosidase in developing embryonic central nervous system tissue along with adult brain tissue of animals carrying the human c-myc Z transgene and we are able to specifically inhibit expression of the transgene using mithramycin administered in utero.[1]


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