Mice lacking vimentin develop and reproduce without an obvious phenotype.
To address the biological role of vimentin in the context of the living organism, we have introduced a null mutation of the vimentin gene into the germ line of mice. Surprisingly, animals homozygous for this mutation developed and reproduced without an obvious phenotype. Immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, and immunogold labeling analysis confirmed the absence of vimentin and of the corresponding filament network. Furthermore, no compensatory expression of another intermediate filament could be demonstrated. While these results leave open the question of the possible role of vimentin in unusual situations or pathological conditions, they show that a conspicuous developmental and cell-specific structure that is an integral part of the cytoskeleton can be eliminated without apparent effect on mouse reproduction and development.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.