Objective: Myh11 encodes a myosin heavy chain protein that is specifically expressed in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and is important for maintaining vascular wall stability. The goal of this study is to generate a Myh11 dual reporter mouse line for definitive visualization of MYH11+ SMCs in vivo. Approach and Results: We generated a Myh11 knock-in mouse model by inserting LoxP-nlacZ-4XpolyA-LoxP-H2B-GFP-polyA-FRT-Neo-FRT reporter cassette into the Myh11 gene locus. The nuclear (n) lacZ-4XpolyA cassette is flanked by 2 LoxP sites followed by H2B-GFP (histone 2B fused green fluorescent protein). Upon Cre-mediated recombination, nlacZ-stop cassette is removed thereby permitting nucleus localized H2B-GFP expression. Expression of the nuclear localized lacZ or H2B-GFP is under control of the endogenous Myh11 promoter. Nuclear lacZ was expressed specifically in SMCs at embryonic and adult stages. Following germline Cre-mediated deletion of nuclear lacZ, H2B-GFP was specifically expressed in the nuclei of SMCs. Comparison of nuclear lacZ expression with Wnt1Cre and Mef2cCre mediated-H2B-GFP expression revealed heterogenous origins of SMCs from neural crest and second heart field in the great arteries and coronary vessels adjacent to aortic root. Conclusions: The Myh11 knock-in dual reporter mouse model offers an exceptional genetic tool to visualize and trace the origins of SMCs in mice.
|Number of pages
|Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
|Published - 1 Feb 2021
- reporter mouse
- smooth muscle cells