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Keywords:

  • endoderm;
  • node;
  • floor plate;
  • mouse;
  • Cre;
  • tet-on;
  • embryogenesis

Abstract

We targeted the reverse tetracycline controlled transactivator (rtTA) to the Foxa2 locus (Foxa2ITA) to generate a system for regulating Cre-recombinase activity within Foxa2 expression domains, including the endoderm, notochord, and floor plate of early mouse embryos. The use of an internal ribosomal entry site to obtain rtTA expression preserves Foxa2 function of the targeted allele. Cre activity with this system reflects the level of endogenous Foxa2 activity and is also tightly controlled by doxycycline. The location of Cre activity within the broader Foxa2 expression domain can be restricted by altering the timing of doxycycline administration. Isolated floor plate expression can be obtained in this manner. This system will provide a useful tool for manipulating gene expression in endoderm, notochord, and floor plate, all of which are tissues with important structural and patterning functions during embryogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 236:1085–1092, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.