Hprt-targeted transgenes provide new insights into smooth muscle-restricted promoter activity

Ketrija Touw, April M. Hoggatt, Gina Simon, B. Paul Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Mouse telokin and SM22α promoters have previously been shown to direct smooth muscle cell-specific expression of transgenes in vivo in adult mice. However, the activity of these promoters is highly dependent on the integration site of the transgene. In the current study, we found that the ectopic expression of telokin promoter transgenes could be abolished by flanking the transgene with insulator elements from the H19 gene. However, the insulator elements did not increase the proportion of mouse lines that exhibited consistent, detectable levels of transgene expression. In contrast, when transgenes were targeted to the hprt locus, both telokin and SM22α promoters resulted in reproducible patterns and levels of transgene expression in all lines of mice examined. Telokin promoter transgene expression was restricted to smooth muscle tissues in adult and embryonic mice. As reported previously, SM22α transgenes were expressed at high levels specifically in arterial smooth muscle cells; however, in contrast to randomly integrated transgenes, the hprt-targeted SM22α transgenes were also expressed at high levels in smooth muscle cells in veins, bladder, and gallbladder. Using hprt-targeted transgenes, we further analyzed elements within the telokin promoter required for tissue specific activity in vivo. Analysis of these transgenes revealed that the CArG element in the telokin promoter is required for promoter activity in all tissues and that the CArG element and adjacent AT-rich region are sufficient to drive transgene expression in bladder but not intestinal smooth muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1024-C1032
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • CArG element
  • Development
  • Embryos
  • Myosin light chain kinase
  • Visceral smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology

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