|Authors||Vincent R, Treff N, Budde M, Kastenberg Z, Odorico J|
|Journal||Stem Cells Dev. Volume: 15 Issue: 6 Pages: 953-62|
|Publish Date||2006 Dec|
Pancreatic development in mammals is controlled in part by the expression and function of numerous genes encoding transcription factors. Yet, how these regulate each other and their target genes is incompletely understood. Embryonic stem (ES) cells have recently been shown to be capable of differentiating into pancreatic progenitor cells and insulin-producing cells, representing a useful in vitro model system for studying pancreatic and islet development. To generate tools to study the relationships of transcription factors in pancreatic development we have established seven unique mouse ES cell lines with tetracycline-inducible expression of either Hnf4alpha, Hnf6, Nkx2.2, Nkx6.1, Pax4, Pdx1, and Ptf1a cDNAs. Each of the cell lines was characterized for induction of transgene expression after exposure to doxycycline (DOX) by quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence microscopy. Transgene expression in the presence of DOX was at least 97-fold that seen in untreated cells. Immunofluorescent staining of DOX-treated cultures showed efficient (>95% of cells) transgene protein expression while showing <5% positive staining in uninduced cells. Each of the ES cell lines maintained their pluripotency as measured by teratoma formation. Furthermore, transgene expression can be efficiently achieved in vivo through DOX administration to mice. The establishment of ES cell lines with temporally controllable induction of critical pancreatic transcription factor genes provides a new set of tools that could be used to interrogate gene regulatory networks in pancreatic development and potentially generate greater numbers of beta cells from ES cells.