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Physiol Genomics. 2008 Sep 17;35(1):1-4. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90284.2008. Epub 2008 Jul 8.

Germ line activation of the Tie2 and SMMHC promoters causes noncell-specific deletion of floxed alleles.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Tissue-specific knockouts generated through Cre-loxP recombination have become an important tool to manipulate the mouse genome. Normally, two successive rounds of breeding are performed to generate mice carrying two floxed target-gene alleles and a transgene expressing Cre-recombinase tissue-specifically. We show herein that two promoters commonly used to generate endothelium-specific (Tie2) and smooth muscle-specific [smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (Smmhc)] knockout mice exhibit activity in the female and male germ lines, respectively. This can result in the inheritance of a null allele in the second generation that is not tissue specific. Careful experimental design is required therefore to ensure that tissue-specific knockouts are indeed tissue specific and that appropriate controls are used to compare strains.

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