The Cre/loxP system has become an important tool in designing postintegrational switch mechanisms for transgenes in mice. The power and spectrum of application of this system depends on transgenic mouse lines that provide Cre recombinase activity with a defined cell type-, tissue-, or developmental stage-specificity. We have developed a novel mouse line that acts as a Cre reporter. The mice, designated Z/EG (lacZ/EGFP), express lacZ throughout embryonic development and adult stages. Cre excision, however, removes the lacZ gene, which activates expression of the second reporter, enhanced green fluorescent protein. We have found that the double-reporter Z/EG line is able to indicate the occurrence of Cre excision from early embryonic to adult lineages. The advantage of the Z/EG line is that Cre-mediated excision can be monitored in live samples and that live cells with Cre-mediated excision can be isolated using a single-step FACS. It will be a valuable reagent for the increasing number of investigators taking advantage of the powerful tools provided by the Cre/loxP site-specific recombinase system.
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