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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2012 Jun;13(3):295-322. doi: 10.1007/s10162-012-0324-5. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Conditional gene expression in the mouse inner ear using Cre-loxP.

Author information

  • 1Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

Abstract

In recent years, there has been significant progress in the use of Cre-loxP technology for conditional gene expression in the inner ear. Here, we introduce the basic concepts of this powerful technology, emphasizing the differences between Cre and CreER. We describe the creation and Cre expression pattern of each Cre and CreER mouse line that has been reported to have expression in auditory and vestibular organs. We compare the Cre expression patterns between Atoh1-CreER(TM) and Atoh1-CreER(T2) and report a new line, Fgfr3-iCreER(T2), which displays inducible Cre activity in cochlear supporting cells. We also explain how results can vary when transgenic vs. knock-in Cre/CreER alleles are used to alter gene expression. We discuss practical issues that arise when using the Cre-loxP system, such as the use of proper controls, Cre efficiency, reporter expression efficiency, and Cre leakiness. Finally, we introduce other methods for conditional gene expression, including Flp recombinase and the tetracycline-inducible system, which can be combined with Cre-loxP mouse models to investigate conditional expression of more than one gene.

PMID:
22526732
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3346893
Free PMC Article

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