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Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Jun;29(12):3280-5. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00172-09. Epub 2009 Apr 13.

Cyclin T2 is essential for mouse embryogenesis.

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Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 621 00, Brno, Czech Republic.


The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) is essential for the elongation of transcription and cotranscriptional processing by RNA polymerase II. In mammals, it contains predominantly the C-type cyclin cyclin T1 (CycT1) or CycT2 and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (Cdk9). To determine if these cyclins have redundant functions or affect distinct sets of genes, we genetically inactivated the CycT2 gene (Ccnt2) using the beta-galactosidase-neomycin gene (beta-geo) gene trap technology in the mouse. Visualizing beta-galactosidase during mouse embryogenesis revealed that CycT2 is expressed abundantly during embryogenesis and throughout the organism in the adult. This finding was reflected in the expression of CycT2 in all adult tissues and organs. However, despite numerous matings of heterozygous mice, we observed no CycT2(-/-) embryos, pups, or adult mice. This early lethality could have resulted from decreased expression of critical genes, which were revealed by short interfering RNAs against CycT2 in embryonic stem cells. Thus, CycT1 and CycT2 are not redundant, and these different P-TEFb complexes regulate subsets of distinct genes that are important for embryonic development.

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