Dwarfism and impaired gut development in insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 1-deficient mice.
Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 1 (IMP1) belongs to a family of RNA-binding proteins implicated in mRNA localization, turnover, and translational control. Mouse IMP1 is expressed during early development, and an increase in expression occurs around embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5). To characterize the physiological role of IMP1, we generated IMP1-deficient mice carrying a gene trap insertion in the Imp1 gene. Imp1(-/-) mice were on average 40% smaller than wild-type and heterozygous sex-matched littermates. Growth retardation was apparent from E17.5 and remained permanent into adult life. Moreover, Imp1(-/-) mice exhibited high perinatal mortality, and only 50% were alive 3 days after birth. In contrast to most other organs, intestinal epithelial cells continue to express IMP1 postnatally, and Imp1(-/-) mice exhibited impaired development of the intestine, with small and misshapen villi and twisted colon crypts. Analysis of target mRNAs and global expression profiling at E12.5 indicated that Igf2 translation was downregulated, whereas the postnatal intestine showed reduced expression of transcripts encoding extracellular matrix components, such as galectin- 1, lumican, tenascin-C, procollagen transcripts, and the Hsp47 procollagen chaperone. Taken together, the results demonstrate that IMP1 is essential for normal growth and development. Moreover, IMP1 may facilitate intestinal morphogenesis via regulation of extracellular matrix formation.