A bioluminescence reporter mouse that monitors expression of constitutively active β-catenin

Maria M. Szwarc, Ramakrishna Kommagani, Mary C. Peavey, Lan Hai, David M. Lonard, John P. Lydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This short technical report describes the generation and characterization of a bioluminescence reporter mouse that is engineered to detect and longitudinally monitor the expression of doxycycline-induced constitutively active β-catenin. The new responder transgenic mouse contains the TetO-ΔN89β-CatTMILA transgene, which consists of the tet-operator followed by a bicistronic sequence encoding a stabilized form of active β-catenin (ΔN89β-catenin), an internal ribosome entry site, and the firefly luciferase gene. To confirm that the transgene operates as designed, TetO-ΔN89β-CatTMILA transgenic mouse lines were crossed with an effector mouse that harbors the mouse mammary tumor virus-reverse tetracycline transactivator (MMTV-rtTA) transgene (termed MTB hereon), which primarily targets rtTA expression to the mammary epithelium. Following doxycycline administration, the resultant MTB/CatTMILA bigenic reporter exhibited precocious lobuloalveologenesis, ductal hyperplasia, and mammary adenocarcinomas, which were visualized and monitored by in vivo bioluminescence detection. Therefore, we predict that the TetO-ΔN89β-CatTMILA transgenic responder mouse - when crossed with the appropriate effector transgenic - will have wide-applicability to non-invasively monitor the influence of constitutively active β-catenin expression on cell-fate specification, proliferation, differentiation, and neoplastic transformation in a broad spectrum of target tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0173014
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


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