Molecular and functional studies of genes in neurons in mouse models require neuron-specific Cre lines. The current available neuronal Cre transgenic or knock-in lines either result in expression in a subset of neurons or expression in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissues. Previously we identified BAF53b as a neuron-specific subunit of the chromatin remodeling BAF complexes. Using a bacteria artificial chromosome (BAC) construct containing the BAF53b gene, we generated a Cre transgenic mouse under the control of BAF53b regulatory elements. Like the endogenous BAF53b gene, we showed that BAF53b-Cre is largely neuron-specific. In both central and peripheral nervous systems, it was expressed in all developing neurons examined and was not observed in neural progenitors or glial cells. In addition, BAF53b-Cre functioned in primary cultures in a pan-neuron-specific manner. Thus, BAF53b-Cre mice will be a useful genetic tool to manipulate gene expression in developing neurons for molecular, biochemical, and functional studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology