Tissue-specific expression of the rat androgen-binding protein/sex hormone-binding globulin gene in transgenic mice.
The testicular Sertoli cell produces an extracellular androgen-binding protein (ABP) that binds testosterone and dihydrotestosterone with high affinity. The ABP gene also encodes plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is produced by the liver of most species. Unlike the human, adult rats and mice do not express SHBG. A 5.5-kb rat genomic DNA fragment was found to contain the entire coding regions of ABP and 1.5 kb upstream of the transcription start site. To aid in identification of the promoter and enhancer regions of the ABP/SHBG gene, we developed transgenic mice that express the rat gene. The 5.5-kb DNA was microinjected into the pronuclei of fertilized mice ova, which were transferred to the reproductive tract of pseudopregnant females. Three of the offspring were identified as carriers of the rat gene by Southern hybridization and these founders were bred with normal mice to establish heterozygous transgenic lines. Northern blot analysis, RNA-PCR and sequencing of the PCR products from the adult transgenic mice revealed extremely high levels of the rat ABP mRNA in the testis, but no detectable rat ABP mRNA in liver, kidney or brain. Primer extension experiments showed that the correct transcript ion start site is utilized in the transgenes. These data demonstrate that the 5.5-kb genomic DNA fragment contains an element(s) capable of directing ABP gene expression in the testis. This enhancer should prove useful for the targeting of specific gene products to the mature Sertoli cell in transgenic animals.
Reventos, J; Sullivan, PM; Joseph, DR; Gordon, JW
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