Background: The tetracycline-responsive system (Tet-ON/OFF) has proven to be a valuable tool for manipulating gene expression in an inducible, temporal, and tissue-specific manner. The purpose of this study was to create and characterize a new transgenic mouse strain utilizing the human skeletal muscle α-actin (HSA) promoter to drive skeletal muscle-specific expression of the reverse tetracycline transactivator (rtTA) gene which we have designated as the HSA-rtTA mouse.

Methods: To confirm the HSA-rtTA mouse was capable of driving skeletal muscle-specific expression, we crossed the HSA-rtTA mouse with the tetracycline-responsive histone H2B-green fluorescent protein (H2B-GFP) transgenic mouse in order to label myonuclei.

Results: Reverse transcription-PCR confirmed skeletal muscle-specific expression of rtTA mRNA, while single-fiber analysis showed highly effective GFP labeling of myonuclei in both fast- and slow-twitch skeletal muscles. Pax7 immunohistochemistry of skeletal muscle cross-sections revealed no appreciable GFP expression in satellite cells.

Conclusions: The HSA-rtTA transgenic mouse allows for robust, specific, and inducible gene expression across muscles of different fiber types. The HSA-rtTA mouse provides a powerful tool to manipulate gene expression in skeletal muscle.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Skeletal Muscle, v. 8, 33, p. 1-8.

© The Author(s). 2018

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This work was supported by NIH grants AG049806 and AR060701 to JJM and CAP and AR071753 to KAM.

Related Content

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request. The HSA-rtTA mouse is available upon request.