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Dev Biol. 1996 Aug 25;178(1):179-85.

Early embryonic lethality caused by targeted disruption of the mouse thioredoxin gene.

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Department of Biological Responses, Kyoto University, Japan.


Thioredoxins belong to a widely distributed group of small proteins with strong reducing activities mediated by a consensus redox-active dithiol (Cys-Gly-Pro-Cys). Thioredoxin was first isolated as a hydrogen donor for enzymatic synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides by ribonucleotide reductase in Escherichia coli. Recent studies have revealed a variety of roles that thioredoxin plays in transcription, growth control, and immune function. In this report, we describe the phenotype of mice carrying a targeted disruption of the thioredoxin gene (Txn). Heterozygotes are viable, fertile, and appear normal. In contrast, homozygous mutants die shortly after implantation, and the concepti were resorbed prior to gastrulation. When preimplantation embryos were placed in culture, the inner cell mass cells of the homozygous embryos failed to proliferate. These results indicate that Txn expression is essential for early differentiation and morphogenesis of the mouse embryo.

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