Anderson WJ, Zhou Q, Alcalde V, Kaneko OF, Blank LJ, Sherwood RI, Guseh JS, Rajagopal J, Melton DA. 2008. Genetic targeting of the endoderm with claudin-6CreER. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 237(2):504-12. Pubmed: 18213590 DOI:10.1002/dvdy.21437


A full description of the ontogeny of the beta cell would guide efforts to generate beta cells from embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The first step requires an understanding of definitive endoderm: the genes and signals responsible for its specification, proliferation, and patterning. This report describes a global marker of definitive endoderm, Claudin-6 (Cldn6). We report its expression in early development with particular attention to definitive endoderm derivatives. To create a genetic system to drive gene expression throughout the definitive endoderm with both spatial and temporal control, we target the endogenous locus with an inducible Cre recombinase (Cre-ER(T2)) cassette. Cldn6 null mice are viable and fertile with no obvious phenotypic abnormalities. We also report a lineage analysis of the fate of Cldn6-expressing embryonic cells, which is relevant to the development of the pancreas, lung, and liver.

Related Faculty

Photo of Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson is the Director of Education and provides administrative leadership and support for the undergraduate, graduate, and medical teaching mission in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University.

Photo of Doug Melton

Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

Photo of Rich Sherwood

Richard Sherwood develops computationally driven methods to predict genome function and stem cell fate determination.

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