BACKGROUND: The use of the Cre/loxP system for gene targeting has been proven to be a powerful tool for understanding gene function. The purpose of this study was to create and characterize an inducible, skeletal muscle-specific Cre transgenic mouse strain.
METHODS: To achieve skeletal muscle-specific expression, the human α-skeletal actin promoter was used to drive expression of a chimeric Cre recombinase containing two mutated estrogen receptor ligand-binding domains.
RESULTS: Western blot analysis, PCR and β-galactosidase staining confirmed that Cre-mediated recombination was restricted to limb and craniofacial skeletal muscles only after tamoxifen administration.
CONCLUSIONS: A transgenic mouse was created that allows inducible, gene targeting of floxed genes in adult skeletal muscle of different developmental origins. This new mouse will be of great utility to the skeletal muscle community.