Infoscience

Thesis

RhoV, a Potential Notch Target Gene in Murine Skin, Does not Play an Essential Role in Epidermis Development and Homeostasis

The evolutionarily conserved Notch signaling cascade plays a pivotal role in the regulation of many fundamental processes such as stem cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. Recently, we aimed to identify downstream target genes regulated by Notch1 during epidermal differentiation. For this purpose an Affymetrix mouse gene chip array of 14.000 genes was performed in both Notch1 gain and loss of function experiments using murine primary keratinocytes. Thirteen genes positively or negatively regulated, based on expression levels and relevance of the involved signaling pathways, were further validated by real-time PCR. Among these, we decided to focus on the Rho GTPase RhoV because it showed robust up- and down-regulation under both gain- and loss-of-function conditions. Therefore, we generated different transgenic mice expressing either a dominant active or a dominant negative form of RhoV specifically in the skin. Morphological and histological analyses did not reveal any overt skin phenotype in transgenic mice. In addition, challenging the system by performing wound healing assays demonstrated that the healing process in transgenic mice occurred normally and that the migration and/or differentiation of keratinocytes was unimpaired. Taken together, our data suggest that gain or loss of RhoV function does not perturb skin development and homeostasis, and does not affect the wound healing process. In addition to the investigation of the potential Notch target gene RhoV, we sought to generate both a floxed Jag2 gene targeted mouse line and a Notch2-specifc reporter mouse. The former was intended to enable conditional deletion of the Notch ligand Jagged2 and therefore allow its role to be studied in a loss-of-function context. The Notch2 reporter mouse is a tool enabling the in vivo study of cells that receive a Notch2-mediated signal. The strategy employs elements of a Tet-Off system and allows cells receiving a Notch2 specific signal to be identified in any tissue at any given time point.

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