Transgenic mouse model for conditional expression of influenza hemagglutinin-tagged human SLC20A1/PIT1.PLoS One 2019; 14(10):e0223052Plos
To further investigate the role of the phosphate (Pi) transporter PIT1 in Pi homeostasis and tissue mineralization, we developed a transgenic mouse expressing the C-terminal influenza hemagglutinin (HA) epitope-tagged human PIT1 transporter under control of the cytomegalovirus/chicken beta actin/rabbit beta-globin gene (CAG) promotor and a loxP-stop-loxP (LSL) cassette permitting conditional activation of transgene expression (LSL-HA-hPITtg/+). For an initial characterization of this conditional mouse model, germline excision of the LSL cassette was performed to induce expression of the transgene in all mouse tissues (HA-hPIT1tg/+). Recombination was confirmed using genomic DNA obtained from blood samples of these mice. Furthermore, expression of HA-hPIT1 was found to be at least 10-fold above endogenous mouse Pit1 in total RNA isolated from multiple tissues and from cultured primary calvaria osteoblasts (PCOB) estimated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Robust expression of the HA-hPIT1 protein was also observed upon immunoblot analysis in most tissues and permits HA-mediated immunoprecipitation of the transporter. Characterization of the phenotype of HA-hPIT1tg/+ mice at 80 days of age when fed a standard chow (0.7% Pi and 1% calcium) showed elevated plasma Pi, but normal plasma iPTH, iFGF23, serum calcium, BUN, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D levels and urine Pi, calcium and protein excretion when compared to WT littermates. Likewise, no change in bone mineral density was observed upon uCT analysis of the distal femur obtained from these mice. In conclusion, heterozygous overexpression of HA-hPIT1 is compatible with life and causes hyperphosphatemia while bone and mineral metabolism of these mice are otherwise normal.