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Matrix Biol. 2001 Jan;19(8):761-7.

Stage-and tissue-specific expression of a Col2a1-Cre fusion gene in transgenic mice.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, Lund University, S-22185, Lund, Sweden.


To achieve chondrocyte-specific deletion of floxed genes we generated a transgenic mouse line expressing the Cre recombinase under the control of the mouse type II collagen gene (Col2a1) regulatory regions. Northern and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated the expression of the transgene (Col2a1-Cre) in cartilaginous tissues. To test the excision efficiency of Cre, the Col2a1-Cre strain was crossed with the ROSA26 reporter strain. LacZ staining of double transgenic mice revealed Cre activity in both chondrogenic and non-chondrogenic tissues. During early embryonic development (E9.5-11.5), LacZ expression was detected in tissues where the endogenous Col2a1 transcript is expressed such as the otic capsule, notochord, developing brain, sclerotome and mesenchymal condensations of future cartilage. At later stages, Cre activity was observed in all cartilaginous tissues with virtually 100% of chondrocytes being LacZ positive. These data suggest that the Col2a1-Cre mouse strain described here can be useful to achieve Cre-mediated recombination in Col2a1 expressing cells, especially in chondrocytes.

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