Expression of the Lycat gene in the mouse cardiovascular and female reproductive systems. Wang W et al. The Lycat homologue in zebrafish maps to the deletion interval of the cloche mutant in which hematopoietic and endothelial cell lineages are affected. However, its definitive relationship to cloche is inconclusive, partly due to inadequate expression data of Lycat from any organisms. We precisely examined the temporal and spatial expression patterns of Lycat in mouse using RNA in situ hybridization, immunostaining, and BAC transgenesis. Lycat is initially expressed in developing heart, lung, and somites, and later becomes progressively restricted to all vascular smooth muscle cells. In adult ovaries, Lycat turns on in oocytes during the transition from primary to secondary follicles. Expression of the Lycat/reporter transgene in the extraembryonic mesoderm, cardiogenic mesoderm, and primitive streak, but not extraembryonic endoderm at E7.5, suggests its potential roles in regulating cardiac, smooth muscle, hematopoietic and endothelial lineages. Promoter mapping assay by transient transgenesis identifies a novel cardiac-specific regulatory region in the Lycat locus.