The transcription factor Gata1 is essential for the development of erythroid cells. Consequently, Gata1 null mutants die in utero due to severe anaemia. Outside the haematopoietic system, Gata1 is only expressed in the Sertoli cells of the testis. To elucidate the function of Gata1 in the testis, we made a Sertoli cell-specific knockout of the Gata1 gene in the mouse. We deleted a normally functioning 'floxed' Gata1 gene in pre-Sertoli cells in vivo through the expression of Cre from a transgene driven by the Desert Hedgehog promoter. Surprisingly, Gata1 null testes developed to be morphologically normal, spermatogenesis was not obviously affected and expression levels of putative Gata1 target genes, and other Gata factors, were not altered. We conclude that expression of Gata1 in Sertoli cells is not essential for testis development or spermatogenesis in the mouse.

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Nucleic Acids Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lindeboom, F., Gillemans, N., Karis, A., Jaegle, M., Meijer, D., Philipsen, S., & Grosveld, F. (2003). A tissue-specific knockout reveals that Gata1 is not essential for Sertoli cell function in the mouse. Nucleic Acids Research. Retrieved from