The cardiac conduction system (CCS)-lacZ insertional mouse mutant strain genetically labels the developing and mature CCS. This pattern of expression is presumed to reflect the site of transgene integration rather than regulatory elements within the transgene proper. We sought to characterize the genomic structure of the integration locus and identify nearby gene(s) that might potentially confer the observed CCS-specific transcription. We found rearrangement of chromosome 7 between regions D1 and E1 with altered transcription of multiple genes in the D1 region. Several lines of evidence suggested that regulatory elements from at least one gene, Slco3A1, influenced CCS-restricted reporter gene expression. In embryonic hearts, Slco3A1 was expressed in a spatial pattern similar to the CCS-lacZ transgene and was similarly neuregulin-responsive. At later stages, however, expression patterns of the transgene and Slco3A1 diverged, suggesting that the Slco3A1 locus may be necessary, but not sufficient to confer CCS-specific transgene expression in the CCS-lacZ line.
- Conduction system