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The 5' region of the human lysozyme gene from -3500 to +25 was fused to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene and three transgenic founder mice were obtained. All three transgenic lines showed the same pattern of CAT enzyme expression in adult mouse tissues that was consistent with the targeting of elicited, activated macrophages in tissues and developing and elicited granulocytes. In normal mice high CAT enzyme activity was found in the spleen, lung, and thymus, tissues rich in phagocytically active cells, but not in many other tissues, such as the gut and muscle, which contain resident macrophages. Cultured resident peritoneal macrophages and cells elicited 18 hr (granulocytes) and 4 days (macrophages) after injection of sterile thioglycollate broth expressed CAT activity. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin infection of transgenic mice resulted in CAT enzyme expression in the liver, which contained macrophage-rich granulomas, whereas the liver of uninfected mice did not have any detectable CAT enzyme activity. Although the Paneth cells of the small intestine in both human and mouse produce lysozyme, the CAT gene, under the control of the human lysozyme promoter, was not expressed in the mouse small intestine. These results indicate that the human lysozyme promoter region may be used to direct expression of genes to activated mouse myeloid cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





1434 - 1438


Animals, Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, Reporter, Granulocytes, Humans, Intestine, Small, Macrophage Activation, Macrophages, Peritoneal, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Muramidase, Mycobacterium bovis, Organ Specificity, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Transcription, Genetic, Tuberculoma, Tuberculosis, Hepatic, Tumor Cells, Cultured