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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Oct;87(20):7993-7.

Expression of murine renin genes in subcutaneous connective tissue.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263.


A renin promoter-large tumor antigen (T antigen) fusion gene was constructed to provide a reporter function for renin expression in transgenic mice. These transgenic mice gave rise to tumors in subcutaneous soft tissue, which was attributed to transgene expression at this site. An immunohistochemical analysis of transgenic fetuses from several independent lines revealed scattered T-antigen-containing mesenchymal cells and fibroblasts in the subcutaneous layer of the skin between the panniculus carnosus muscle of the skin and the skeletal muscle of the body wall. This localization is consistent with the location of overt tumorigenesis in adult mice. This pattern was specific for the renin-T antigen fusion gene as no immunohistochemical staining was observed in transgenic fetuses containing a heterologous promoter-T antigen fusion gene. Northern blot analysis of tumor RNA indicated that most of the tumors expressed both T antigen and the endogenous renin gene Ren-1c. In addition, when multiple renin genes were introduced by crossing transgenic mice with nontransgenic DBA/2J mice, which contain another allele of the Ren-1 locus as well as the duplicated locus Ren-2, the resultant tumors expressed the Ren-2 gene. Northern blots were then used to analyze renin expression in the subcutaneous tissue of normal mice. Fully processed renin mRNA was detected in eviscerated 15.5-day postcoitus fetal and newborn carcasses and in newborn skin. Our data indicate that there is a renin-expressing cell population in fetal and newborn subcutaneous tissue.

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