Generation of mice with a conditional Lbh null allele.Genesis 2013; 51(7):491-7G
Limb bud and heart (LBH) is a developmentally expressed, tissue-specific transcription cofactor in vertebrates that acts in the WNT signaling pathway, a genetic program critical for embryogenesis and adult tissue homeostasis. Aberrant gain-of-function of LBH is implicated in both human congenital disease and cancer. The normal physiological function of LBH has remained elusive owing to a lack of genetic loss-of-function models. Here, we have generated mice with a conditional null allele of Lbh by flanking exon 2 with loxP sites (Lbh(flox)). Homozygous Lbh(flox) and Lbh(loxP) mice, in which the Neo cassette was removed through FLPe-mediated recombination, were viable and fertile, indicating that these conditional Lbh alleles are fully functional. Lbh(loxP) mice were then crossed with a Rosa26-Cre line, resulting in ubiquitous deletion of exon 2 and abolishment of LBH protein expression. Mice homozygous for the Lbh null allele (Lbh(Δ)(2)) displayed normal embryonic development and postnatal growth with morphologies indistinguishable from wild-type littermates. However, mammary gland development, which occurs primarily after birth, was perturbed. Thus, the conditional Lbh allele will be a valuable tool to uncover the currently unknown tissue-specific roles of LBH in postnatal development and disease.