Targeted knockout of β-catenin in adult melanocyte stem cells using a mouse line, Dct::CreER T2, results in disrupted stem cell renewal and pigmentation defects

Melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) are found in the bulge region of mammalian hair follicles and are responsible for the production of mature melanocytes (Mc) during each hair cycle. We have produced and characterized a transgenic mouse model, Dct::CreERT2, to unambiguously target McSCs, as well as transient amplifying cells (TACs) and Mc. As a functional validation of this model, we inactivated β-catenin in adult mice and observed a whitening coat color, which coincided with a loss of McSCs. This mouse model will be useful to inactivate/activate genes to better understand the function of genes during melanocyte renewal, maintenance and melanoma.

J Invest Dermatol. 2020 Oct 19;S0022-202X(20)32146-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2020.08.025.


Other Contributors

Madeleine LE COZ1-3*, Zackie AKTARY1-3*, Natsuki WATANABE4 , Ichiro YAJIMA1-3 , Marie POUTEAUX1-3, Nisamanee CHAROENCHON1-3, Tsutomu MOTOHASHI4 , Takahiro KUNISADA4 , André CORVELO5 , and Lionel LARUE1-3

1 INSERM U1021, Normal and Pathological Development of Melanocytes. Institut Curie, PSL Research University, Orsay, France

2 CNRS UMR3347, Paris-Sud University, University Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France

3 Equipe Labellisée – Ligue Contre le Cancer, Orsay, France

4 Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Regeneration and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine.

5 New York Genome Center, Computational Biology, New York, USA