Generation and characterization of Rac3 knockout mice

Sara Corbetta, Sara Gualdoni, Chiara Albertinazzi, Simona Paris, Laura Croci, G. Giacomo Consalez, Ivan De Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rac proteins are members of the Rho family of GTPases involved in the regulation of actin dynamics. The three highly homologous Rac proteins in mammals are the ubiquitous Rac1, the hematopoiesis-specific Rac2, and the least-characterized Rac3. We show here that Rac3 mRNA is widely and specifically expressed in the developing nervous system, with highest concentration at embryonic day 13 in the dorsal root ganglia and ventral spinal cord. At postnatal day 7 Rac3 appears particularly abundant in populations of projection neurons in several regions of the brain, including the fifth layer of the cortex and the CA1-CA3 region of the hippocampus. We generated mice deleted for the Rac3 gene with the aim of analyzing the function of this GTPase in vivo. Rac3 knockout animals survive embryogenesis and show no obvious developmental defects. Interestingly, specific behavioral differences were detected in the Rac3-deficient animals, since motor coordination and motor learning on the rotarod was superior to that of their wild-type littermates. No obvious histological or immunohistological differences were observed at major sites of Rac3 expression. Our results indicate that, in vivo, Rac3 activity is not strictly required for normal development in utero but may be relevant to later events in the development of a functional nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5763-5776
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume25
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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