To determine the normal function of the Coxsackievirus and Adenovirus Receptor (CAR), a protein found in tight junctions and other intercellular complexes, we constructed a mouse line in which the CAR gene could be disrupted at any chosen time point in a broad spectrum of cell types and tissues. All knockouts examined displayed a dilated intestinal tract and atrophy of the exocrine pancreas with appearance of tubular complexes characteristic of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia. The mice also exhibited a complete atrio-ventricular block and abnormal thymopoiesis. These results demonstrate that CAR exerts important functions in the physiology of several organs in vivo
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