Expression in transgenic mice of two genes of different tissue specificity integrated into a single chromosomal site.

P. Einat*, Y. Bergman, D. Yaffe, M. Shani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Transgenic mice were used to study the expression of pairs of genes with distinctly different tissue specificities, covalently linked and integrated into the same chromosomal site. A transgenic strain carrying, in close proximity and in the same orientation, the rat fast skeletal muscle myosin light-chain 2 (MLC2) gene and the mouse rearranged immunoglobulin kappa light-chain gene expressed the immunoglobulin gene specifically in the lymphoid tissues, whereas rat MLC2 transcripts were found in skeletal muscle but not in the spleen or the other tissues that were tested. In another transgenic strain, carrying the rat MLC2 gene and a modified rat skeletal muscle actin gene (actin-globin chimeric gene), transcripts of the rat MLC2 gene were detected in skeletal muscle only, whereas the actin-globin transcripts were detected in skeletal muscle as well as in the heart. Moreover, the expression of the chimeric gene was also developmentally regulated. Expression was higher in cardiac muscle than in the skeletal muscle of neonatal mice, whereas expression was higher in skeletal muscle in adult mice. This pattern is consistent with the regulation of the expression of the endogenous skeletal muscle actin gene. Thus, in those transgenic strains that expressed both genes, each gene retained its tissue specificity, in spite of their close proximity. These results indicate a high degree of autonomy of the control elements included in the cloned genomic DNA fragment and demonstrate that a single chromosomal site can be permissive for the proper expression of two genes with different tissue specificities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1075-1084
Number of pages10
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1987
Externally publishedYes


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