Accurately tuned expression levels of the transcription factor GATA-3 are crucial at several stages of T cell and innate lymphoid cell development and differentiation. Moreover, several lines of evidence suggest that Gata3 expression might provide a reliable molecular marker for the identification of elusive progenitor cell subsets at the earliest stages of T lineage commitment. To be able to faithfully monitor Gata3 expression noninvasively at the single-cell level, we have generated a novel strain of knock-in reporter mice, termed GATIR, by inserting an expression cassette encoding a bright fluorescent marker into the 3'-untranslated region of the endogenous Gata3 locus. Importantly, in contrast to three previously published strains of Gata3 reporter mice, GATIR mice preserve physiological Gata3 expression on the targeted allele. In this study, we show that GATIR mice faithfully reflect endogenous Gata3 expression without disturbing the development of GATA-3-dependent lymphoid cell populations. We further show that GATIR mice provide an ideal tool for noninvasive monitoring of Th2 polarization and straightforward identification of innate lymphoid cell 2 progenitor populations. Finally, as our reporter is non-gene-destructive, GATIR mice can be bred to homozygosity, not feasible with previously published strains of Gata3 reporter mice harboring disrupted alleles. The availability of hetero- and homozygous Gata3 reporter mice with an exceptionally bright fluorescent marker, allowed us to visualize allelic Gata3 expression in individual cells simply by flow cytometry. The unambiguous results obtained provide compelling evidence against previously postulated monoallelic Gata3 expression in early T lineage and hematopoietic stem cell subsets.,
Journal of Immunology
Department of Pulmonology

Rao, T.N. (Tata Nageswara), Kumar, S. (Suresh), Pulikkottil, A.J. (Alex Jose), Oliveri, F. (Franziska), Hendriks, R.W, Beckel, F. (Franziska), & Fehling, H.J. (Hans Joerg). (2020). Novel, non-gene-destructive knock-in reporter mice refute the concept of monoallelic gata3 expression. Journal of Immunology, 204(9), 2600–2611. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.2000025