Transgenic mice expressing a constitutively active retinoic acid receptor in the lens exhibit ocular defects.
Retinoic acid receptors (RARs) modulate gene expression following association with retinoic acid (RA). In transient transfection, an RAR alpha-beta-galactosidase fusion protein (RAR-LacZ) was able to transactivate expression in the absence of RA. When expressed in the ocular lens of transgenic mice, this constitutively active RAR-LacZ fusion gene resulted in founder and progeny animals that exhibited cataracts and microphthalmia, both being characteristics of retinoid-induced teratogenesis. The transgenic phenotypes indicate that retinoid teratogenesis can be mimicked by expression of a constitutively active RAR-LacZ fusion protein in retinoid-sensitive tissues.
Balkan, W; Klintworth, GK; Bock, CB; Linney, E
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