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Keywords:

  • Cre;
  • loxP;
  • hypomorph;
  • null;
  • conditional;
  • Smad2;
  • mouse

Abstract

Smad2 is an intracellular mediator of the transforming growth factor beta signaling (TGFβ) pathway. It has been previously shown that, in the mouse, ablation of functional Smad2 results in embryonic lethality due to gastrulation defects. To circumvent the early lethality and study the spatially and temporally specific functions of Smad2, we utilized the Cre-loxP system to generate a Smad2 conditional allele. Here we show that a conditional allele, Smad2flox, was generated. In this allele, exons 9 and 10 are flanked by loxP sites and the gene is functionally wildtype. Cre-mediated recombination results in a deletion allele which phenocopies our previously reported Smad2ΔC null mutation. To generate this conditional allele, we first made a targeted mutation which introduced a floxed neo cassette into intron 10. This allele (Smad23loxP) functions hypomorphically when placed opposite a null allele, and unlike the other published Smad2 hypomorphic allele, can be maintained in the homozygous state. genesis 40:118–123, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.