Msx1, a member of the Msx gene family, encodes a homeodomain transcription factor and plays critical roles during mouse development in numerous organs. By homologous recombination, we generated a new Msx1 allele (Msx1CreERT2) in which the CreERT2 fusion protein is produced in place of the endogenous Msx1 protein. Using different reporter mouse strains and appropriate tamoxifen treatments, we show that, in mice bearing the Msx1CrERT2 allele, CreERT2 is capable to induce loxP genomic recombination specifically in Msx1-expressing cells and that this can be obtained during embryonic development as well as after birth. These results show that this new mouse line can be used for lineage tracing of Msx1-expressing cells and their descendants and, combined with Cre-inducible Msx null alleles, for the analysis of Msx1 and/or Msx2 functions in the Msx1-expressing organs, in a time-dependant manner.
- Genetic labeling
- Mouse development