Summary: Meis1 is a highly conserved transcription factor that is activated in a regionally restricted manner from early stages of development. Meis1 belongs to the three amino acid loop extension (TALE) homeodomain family. Together with Pbx1, Meis1 plays a major role as a Hox cofactor, and therefore, plays an essential role in the development of several embryonic organs and systems, including limbs, heart, blood, and vasculature. In addition, Meis1 is required for the development of Hox-free embryonic regions and interacts with non-Hox homeodomain and non-homeodomain transcription factors. During post-natal life Meis1 is involved in adult cardiomyocyte homeostasis and has been associated with pre-disposition to human neural and cardiac pathologies. Given the relevance of this transcription factor, we have developed two new Meis1 gene knockin models; a direct ECFP knockin insertion that allows the direct identification of Meis1-expressing cells in living tissues, and a CreERT2 insertion that allows the inducible genetic tracing of Meis1-expressing cells in a time-controlled manner. Importantly, these two alleles represent the first Meis1 mutations in which Meis1 protein production is completely eliminated. These newly targeted Meis1 alleles will be valuable tools to further our understanding of the role of this critical transcription factor during development and disease.
- ECFP reporter protein expression
- Lineage tracing
- Meis1 knockin
- Tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2