The Myt1 family of transcription factors is unique among the many classes of zinc finger proteins in how the zinc-stabilized fingers contact the DNA helix. To examine the function of Myt1 in the developing nervous system, we generated mice in which Myt1 expression was replaced by an enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein fused to a Codon-improved Cre recombinase as a protein reporter. Myt1 knock-in mice die at birth, apparently due to improper innervation of their lungs. Elimination of Myt1 did not significantly affect the number or distribution of neural precursor cells that normally express Myt1 in the embryonic spinal cord. Nor was the general pattern of differentiated neurons altered in the embryonic spinal cord. The Myt1 knock-in mice should provide an important tool for identifying the in vivo targets of Myt1 action and unraveling the role of this structurally distinct zinc finger protein in neural development
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