Evidence for RNA or protein transport from somatic tissues to the male reproductive tract in mouse
Berry, Bethany C
Tapper, Andrew R
Wagers, Amy J
Rando, Oliver J
UMass Chan AffiliationsBiochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology
Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Document TypeJournal Article
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe development of tools to manipulate the mouse genome, including knockout and transgenic technology, has revolutionized our ability to explore gene function in mammals. Moreover, for genes that are expressed in multiple tissues or at multiple stages of development, the use of tissue-specific expression of the Cre recombinase allows gene function to be perturbed in specific cell types and/or at specific times. However, it is well known that putative tissue-specific promoters often drive unanticipated 'off-target' expression. In our efforts to explore the biology of the male reproductive tract, we unexpectedly found that expression of Cre in the central nervous system resulted in recombination in the epididymis, a tissue where sperm mature for ~1-2 weeks following the completion of testicular development. Remarkably, we not only observed reporter expression in the epididymis when Cre expression was driven from neuron-specific transgenes, but also when Cre expression in the brain was induced from an AAV vector carrying a Cre expression construct. A surprisingly wide range of Cre drivers - including six different neuronal promoters as well as the adipose-specific Adipoq Cre promoter - exhibited off-target recombination in the epididymis, with a subset of drivers also exhibiting unexpected activity in other tissues such as the reproductive accessory glands. Using a combination of parabiosis and serum transfer experiments, we find evidence supporting the hypothesis that Cre may be trafficked from its cell of origin to the epididymis through the circulatory system. Together, our findings should motivate caution when interpreting conditional alleles, and suggest the exciting possibility of inter-tissue RNA or protein trafficking in modulation of reproductive biology.
SourceRinaldi V, Messemer K, Desevin K, Sun F, Berry BC, Kukreja S, Tapper AR, Wagers AJ, Rando OJ. Evidence for RNA or protein transport from somatic tissues to the male reproductive tract in mouse. Elife. 2023 Mar 27;12:e77733. doi: 10.7554/eLife.77733. PMID: 36971355; PMCID: PMC10079288.
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/52028
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