Generation of mice with conditionally activated transforming growth factor beta signaling through the TbetaRI/ALK5 receptor

Genesis. 2008 Dec;46(12):724-31. doi: 10.1002/dvg.20425.


We generated a transgenic mouse strain (LSL-TbetaRI(CA)) containing a latent constitutively active TGFbeta type I receptor (TbetaRI/ALK5) by using a knock-in strategy into the X chromosome-linked hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl-transferase (Hprt) locus. Transgene expression, under the control of the ubiquitous CAG (human cytomegalovirus enhancer and chicken beta-actin) promoter, is repressed by a floxed transcriptional "Stop" (LSL, Lox-Stop-Lox). In the presence of cre-recombinase, the "Stop" is excised to allow TbetaRI(CA) transgene expression. We showed that restricted expression of TbetaRI(CA) in T lymphocytes efficiently activates TGFbeta signaling and rescues the T-cell autoimmune disorders of TGFbetaRII conditional knockouts. Unexpectedly, our study reveals that TGFbeta signaling upregulation controls T-cell activation but does not impair their development or their peripheral homeostasis. In addition to the information provided on TGFbeta effects on T-cell biology, LSL-TbetaRI(CA) mouse constitutes an attractive tool to address the effect of TGFbeta signaling upregulation in any cell type expressing the cre-recombinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type I
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type I
  • TGFBR1 protein, human
  • Tgfbr1 protein, mouse