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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 May 1;25(9):1766-73.

Cre-mediated somatic site-specific recombination in mice.

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Division of Molecular Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Conditional mutant mice equipped with heterologous recombination systems (Cre/lox or Flp/frt) are promising for studying tissue-specific gene function and for designing better models of human diseases. The utility of these mice depends on the cell target specificity, on the efficiency and on the control over timing of gene (in)activation. We have explored the utility of adenoviral vectors and transgenic mice expressing Cre under the control of tissue-specific promoters to achieve Cre/lox-mediated somatic recombination of the LacZ reporter gene, using a newly generated flox LacZ mouse strain. When adeno Cre viruses were administered via different routes, recombination and expression of LacZ was detected in a wide range of tissues. Whereas in liverbeta-galactosidase activity was quickly lost by turnover of expressing cells, even though the recombined allele was retained,beta-galactosidase in other tissues persisted for many months. Our data indicate that the flox LacZ transgenic line can be utilized effectively to monitor the level and functionality of Cre protein produced upon infection with adeno Cre virus or upon crossbreeding with different Cre transgenic lines.

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