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Keywords:

  • Cre recombinase;
  • tissue-specific recombination;
  • epidermis;
  • keratinocyte;
  • maternal deleter;
  • transgenic mice

Abstract

We describe here a mouse line bearing a bovine keratin K5Cre recombinase transgene. These mice showed a dual pattern of Cre-mediated recombination, depending on the parent transmitting the transgene. In paternal transmission, recombination occurred specifically in the skin and stratified epithelia—as expected according to the expression of endogenous keratin K5. However, constitutive recombination between loxP sites transmitted by the sperm took place when the mother possessed the K5Cre transgene, even when the transgene was absent in the progeny. Cre expression in late-stage oocytes, with the Cre protein persisting into the developing embryo, leads to the constitutive recombination observed. Thus, this transgenic line allows for both tissue-specific and generalized recombination, depending on the breeding scheme. genesis 39:52–57, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.