Cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis are regulated by the sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs), encoded by Srebf1 and Srebf2 . We generated mice that were either deficient or hypomorphic for SREBP-2. SREBP-2 deficiency generally caused death during embryonic development. Analyses of Srebf2 -/ - embryos revealed a requirement for SREBP-2 in limb development and expression of morphogenic genes. We encountered only one viable Srebf2 -/ - mouse, which displayed alopecia, attenuated growth, and reduced adipose tissue stores. Hypomorphic SREBP-2 mice (expressing low levels of SREBP-2) survived development, but the female mice exhibited reduced body weight and died between 8 and 12 weeks of age. Male hypomorphic mice were viable but had reduced cholesterol stores in the liver and lower expression of SREBP target genes. Reduced SREBP-2 expression affected SREBP-1 isoforms in a tissue-specific manner. In the liver, reduced SREBP-2 expression nearly abolished Srebf1c transcripts and reduced Srebf1a mRNA levels. In contrast, adipose tissue displayed normal expression of SREBP target genes, likely due to a compensatory increase in Srebf1a expression. Our results establish that SREBP-2 is critical for survival and limb patterning during development. Reduced expression of SREBP-2 from the hypomorphic allele leads to early death in females and reduced cholesterol content in the liver, but not in adipose tissue.
- Cholesterol synthesis
- Gene regulation
- Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c
- Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 2
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology