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Matrix Biol. 2008 Oct;27(8):693-9. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Jul 12.

Specific expression of Cre recombinase in hypertrophic cartilage under the control of a BAC-Col10a1 promoter.

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Department of Experimental Medicine I, Nikolaus-Fiebiger Center of Molecular Medicine, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Glueckstr.6, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.


Previously we have shown that insertion of a LacZ reporter gene into the Col10a1 gene in the context of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) drives strong and specific expression of LacZ in hypertrophic cartilage of transgenic mice [Gebhard S., Hattori T., Bauer E., Bosl M.R., Schlund B., Poschl E., Adam N., de Crombrugghe B., von der Mark K., 2007 Histochem. Cell Biol. 19 127:183-194]. BAC constructs in transgenic reporter mouse lines control efficient and specific LacZ expression in hypertrophic chondrocytes under the complete Col10a1 promoter. Here we report on the generation of Col10a1-specific Cre deleter mice using a BAC recombineering technique based on homologous recombination in E. coli. Sixteen BAC-Col10-Cre transgenic lines were generated containing between 1 and 5 copies of the BAC-Col10-Cre gene. All lines tested so far expressed Cre specifically in hypertrophic chondrocytes of E16.5 and P1 growth plates of long bones, ribs, vertebrae and sternum as examined by crossing with ROSA26 reporter mice. Cre activity was detected as early as E13.5 when hypertrophic cartilage develops in the diaphysis of femur and humerus. The data confirm that expression of Cre under the control of the complete BAC-Col10a1 promoter occurs with high efficiency and specificity in hypertrophic chondrocytes. The BAC-Col10-Cre lines should thus provide a valuable tool to get further insight into the role of genes involved in endochondral ossification by allowing their specific deletion in the hypertrophic zone of the growth plate.

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