Testing the Cre-mediated genetic switch for the generation of conditional knock-in mice
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The Cre-mediated genetic switch combines the ability of Cre recombinase to stably invert or excise a DNA fragment depending upon the orientation of flanking mutant loxP sites. In this work, we have tested this strategy in vivo with the aim to generate two conditional knock-in mice for missense mutations in the Impad1 and Clcn7 genes causing two different skeletal dysplasias. Targeting constructs were generated in which the Impad1 exon 2 and an inverted exon 2* and the Clcn7 exon 7 and an inverted exon 7* containing the point mutations were flanked by mutant loxP sites in a head-to-head orientation. When the Cre recombinase is present, the DNA flanked by the mutant loxP sites is expected to be stably inverted leading to the activation of the mutated exon. The targeting vectors were used to generate heterozygous floxed mice in which inversion of the wild-type with the mutant exon has not occurred yet. To generate knock-in mice, floxed animals were mated to a global Cre-deleter mouse strain for stable inversion and activation of the mutation. Unexpectedly the phenotype of homozygous Impad1 knock-in animals overlaps with the lethal phenotype described previously in Impad1 knock-out mice. Similarly, the phenotype of homozygous Clcn7 floxed mice overlaps with Clcn7 knock-out mice. Expression studies by qPCR and RT-PCR demonstrated that mutant mRNA underwent abnormal splicing leading to the synthesis of non-functional proteins. Thus, the skeletal phenotypes in both murine strains were not caused by the missense mutations, but by aberrant splicing. Our data demonstrate that the Cre mediated genetic switch strategy should be considered cautiously for the generation of conditional knock-in mice. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
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