The MEN/ELL gene was cloned as a fusion partner of the MLL gene in the t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation, which is found in adult myeloid leukemia. MEN belongs to a family of RNA polymerase II elongation factors and dysregulated production of MEN through the MLL promoter could cause malignant transformation of myeloid cells. To pursue the physiological role and determine the requirement of the MEN gene product in mouse development, we generated knockout mice (MEN-/-) by gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. After intercrossing heterozygous mice to generate homozygous mutants, we identified no homozygotes (MEN-/-) even at E9.5, as well as after birth, by Southern analysis. Moreover, histological examinations revealed degenerative changes in nearly one-fourth of E6.5 embryos, which were gradually resorbed by E8.5. Our findings demonstrated that MEN-/- mice are embryonic lethal, and die before E6.5 and after implantation. MEN should play a nonredundant role in postimplantation development of mice.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.