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J Biol Chem. 1995 Apr 28;270(17):9971-7.

Growth and differentiation proceeds normally in cells deficient in the immediate early gene NGFI-A.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


NGFI-A (also known as EGR-1, zif/268, and Krox-24) is a zinc finger transcription factor induced in many cell types by a variety of growth and differentiation stimuli. To determine if NGFI-A plays a requisite role in these processes, we used homologous recombination to mutate both alleles of NGFI-A in embryonic stem (ES) cells and examined its effect on growth and differentiation. We find that ES cells lacking NGFI-A exhibit similar growth rates and serum-induced gene expression profiles compared to wild-type parental cells. They are capable of differentiating into neurons, cardiac myocytes, chondrocytes, and squamous epithelium. Chimeric mice were generated from targeted ES cells, and their progeny were crossed to produce homozygous mutant mice. Growth and histological analyses of mice lacking NGFI-A confirm the finding in ES cells that NGFI-A is not required for many of the processes associated with its expression and suggest that the function of NGFI-A is either more subtle in vivo or masked by redundant expression provided by other gene family members such as NGFI-C, Krox-20, or EGR3.

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