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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Oct 24;310(3):1017-25.

Ectopically expressed PDX-1 in liver initiates endocrine and exocrine pancreas differentiation but causes dysmorphogenesis.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Osaka, Japan.


To date, the potency of pancreatic and duodenal homeobox gene 1 (PDX-1) in inducing differentiation into insulin-producing cells has been demonstrated in some cells and tissues. In order to carry out efficient screening of somatic tissues and cells that can transdifferentiate into beta-cell-like cells in response to PDX-1, we generated CAG-CAT-PDX1 transgenic mice carrying a transgene cassette composed of the chicken beta-actin gene (CAG) promoter and a floxed stuffer DNA sequence (CAT) linked to PDX-1 cDNA. When the mice were crossed with Alb-Cre mice, which express the Cre recombinase driven by the rat albumin gene promoter, PDX-1 was expressed in more than 50% of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. The PDX-1 (+) livers expressed a variety of endocrine hormone genes such as insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide. In addition, they expressed exocrine genes such as elastase-1 and chymotrypsinogen 1B. However, the mice exhibited marked jaundice due to conjugated hyperbilirubinemia, and the liver tissue displayed abnormal lobe structures and multiple cystic lesions. Thus, the in vivo ectopic expression of PDX-1 in albumin-producing cells was able to initiate but not complete the differentiation of liver cells into pancreatic cells. The conditional PDX-1 transgenic mouse system developed in this study appeared to be useful for efficient screening of PDX-1 responsive somatic tissues and cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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