Ksp-cadherin (Cadherin 16) is a unique, tissue-specific member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion proteins that is expressed exclusively in tubular epithelial cells in the adult kidney and developing genitourinary (GU) tract. Since its original identification in 1995, Ksp-cadherin has proven to be a useful experimental model for studies of kidney-specific and developmental gene regulation. These investigations have led to the creation of new strains of transgenic mice that will be useful for studies of renal cell lineage and tissue-specific gene targeting. Recent studies have also identified Ksp-cadherin as the first kidney-specific promoter that it is regulated by HNF-1beta (hepatocyte nuclear factor-1beta), a transcription factor that has been implicated in human renal cystic disease.
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