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Endocrinology. 2018 Apr 1;159(4):1897-1909. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00158.

Generation of Mouse for Conditional Expression of Forkhead Box A2.

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Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle, North Carolina.


Forkhead box A2 (FOXA2) is a pioneer transcription factor involved in organ development, function, and cancer. In the uterus, FOXA2 is essential for pregnancy and expressed specifically in the glands of the endometrium. Loss of FOXA2 function occurs during development of endometrial cancer in humans. The current study describes the development of a mouse model for conditional expression of mouse FOXA2. Using a system consisting of a minigene located at the Rosa26 locus, we generated a CAG-S-mFOXA2 allele in embryonic stem cells and subsequently in mice; before activation, the minigene is silent because of a floxed stop cassette inserted between the promoter and the transgene. To validate functionality, mice with the CAG-S-mFOXA2 allele were crossed with progesterone receptor (Pgr)-Cre mice and lactotransferrin (Ltf)-iCre mice that express Cre in the immature and adult uterus, respectively. In immature Pgr-Cre-CAG-S-mFoxa2 mice, FOXA2 protein was expressed in the luminal epithelium (LE), glandular epithelium (GE), stroma, and inner layer of the myometrium. Interestingly, FOXA2 protein was not observed in most of the LE of uteri from adult Pgr-Cre-CAG-S-mFoxa2 mice, although FOXA2 was maintained in the stroma, GE, and myometrium. The adult Pgr-Cre-CAG-S-mFoxa2 females were completely infertile. In contrast, Ltf-iCre-CAG-S-mFoxa2 mice were fertile with no detectable histological differences in the uterus. The adult uterus of Pgr-Cre-CAG-S-mFoxa2 mice was smaller, contained few endometrial glands, and displayed areas of partially stratified LE and GE. This transgenic mouse line is a valuable resource to elucidating and exploring FOXA2 function.

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