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Genesis. 2008 Aug;46(8):390-5. doi: 10.1002/dvg.20411.

Robust acinar cell transgene expression of CreErT via BAC recombineering.

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Department of Cancer Biology, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Pancreatic acinar cells are critical in gastrointestinal physiology and pancreatitis and may be involved in pancreatic cancer. Previously, a short rat pancreatic elastase promoter has been widely utilized to control acinar cell transgene expression. However, this partial sequence does not confer robust and stable expression. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a transgene employing bacterial-artificial-chromosome (BAC) technology to express a tamoxifen-regulated Cre recombinase from a full-length mouse elastase gene (BAC-Ela-CreErT) would be more robust and stable. When founders were crossed with Rosa26 reporter mice nearly 100% of acini expressed beta-galactosidase after tamoxifen treatment. The expression was specific for pancreatic acinar cells and these characteristics have remained stable for 2 years. However, because of high levels of expression in differentiated acinar cells, this construct is tamoxifen independent in approximately 50% of adult acinar cells. This model of pancreatic acinar specific Cre expression is a powerful tool for future transgenic and knockout studies.

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