Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.363, No.4, 908-914, 2007
Tissue-specific deletion of c-Jun in the pancreas has limited effects on pancreas formation
It is well known that activating protein-1 (AP-1) is involved in a variety of cellular functions such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and oncogenesis. AP-1 is a dimer complex consisting of different subunits, and c-Jun is known to be one of its major components. In addition, it has been shown that mice lacking c-Jun are embryonic lethal and that c-Jun is essential for liver and heart development. However, the role of c-Jun in the pancreas is not well known. The aim of this study was to examine the possible role of c-Jun in the pancreas. First, c-Jun was strongly expressed in pancreatic duct-like structures at an embryonic stage, while a lower level of expression was observed in some part of the adult pancreas, implying that c-Jun might play a role during pancreas development. Second, to address this point, we generated pancreas-specific c-Jun knock-out mice (Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun(flox/flox) mice) by crossing Ptf1a-Cre knock-in mice with c-Jun floxed mice. Ptf1a is a pancreatic transcription factor and its expression is confined to pancreatic stem/progenitor cells, which give rise to all three types of pancreatic tissue: endocrine, exocrine, and duct. Contrary to our expectation, however, there was no morphological difference in the pancreas between Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun flox/flox and control mice. In addition, there was no difference in body weight, pancreas weight, and the expression of various pancreas-related factors (insulin, glucagon, cytokeratin, and amylase) between the two groups. Furthermore, there was no difference in glucose tolerance between Ptf1a-Cre; c-Jun(flox/flox) and control mice. Taken together, although we cannot exclude the possibility that c-Jun ablation is compensated by some unknown factors, c-Jun appears to be dispensable for pancreas development at least after ptf1a gene promoter is activated. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.