1 kb of 5' flanking sequence from mouse MC4R gene is sufficient for tissue specific expression in a transgenic mouse. Academic Article uri icon


  • The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) plays a critical role in the regulation of energy homeostasis, and the MC4R knockout mouse and humans with MC4R defective mutations in only one allele indicate that there is a gene dosage effect. Alterations in gene expression levels for MC4R could, therefore, have significant effects on energy homeostasis. To begin to develop a mouse model for studies on MC4R promoter in situ we used approximately 1 kb mouse MC4R promoter together with 426 bp MC4R 5' UTR, previously shown to support basal expression of reporter gene transcription in cell lines with endogenous MC4R mRNA, and fused this DNA to a nuclear localized LacZ reporter gene. The construct was injected into pronuclei from FVB mice. Five transgenic lines were identified as carrying autosomal transgene insertions; three of these had significant beta-galactosidase staining in brain and in a few cells in the heart but not in kidney, liver, lung, gonadal fat or testis. The pattern of transgene expression in the brain differed markedly for the three lines, and in one of these lines was remarkably similar to endogenous MC4R mRNA expression observed using in situ hybridisation. In conclusion, approximately 1 kb mouse MC4R promoter is sufficient to direct gene expression to the brain including regions that express endogenous MC4R mRNA.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cell Endocrinol

author list (cited authors)

  • Daniel, P. B., Fernando, C., Wu, C., Marnane, R., Broadhurst, R., & Mountjoy, K. G.

complete list of authors

  • Daniel, Philip B||Fernando, Chathurini||Wu, C-S Jenny||Marnane, Rebecca||Broadhurst, Ric||Mountjoy, Kathleen G

publication date

  • January 1, 2005 11:11 AM