Hox genes are crucial for body axis specification during embryonic development. Hoxa11 plays a role in anteroposterior patterning of the axial skeleton, development of the urogenital tract of both sexes, and proximodistal patterning of the limbs. Hoxa11 expression is also observed in the neural tube. Herein, we report the generation of a Hoxa11eGFP targeted knock-in allele in mice in which eGFP replaces the first coding exon of Hoxa11 as an in-frame fusion. This allele closely recapitulates the reported mRNA expression patterns for Hoxa11. Hoxa11eGFP can be visualized in the tail, neural tube, limbs, kidneys, and reproductive tract of both sexes. Additionally, homozygous mutants recapitulate reported phenotypes for Hoxa11 loss of function mice, exhibiting loss of fertility in both males and females. This targeted mouse line will prove useful as a vital marker for Hoxa11 protein localization during control (heterozygous) or mutant organogenesis.
Copyright (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.