Targeted oncogene activation by site-specific recombination in transgenic mice.
An efficient and accurate method for controlled in vivo transgene modulation by site-directed recombination is described. Seven transgenic mouse founder lines were produced carrying the murine lens-specific alpha A-crystallin promoter and the simian virus 40 large tumor-antigen gene sequence, separated by a 1.3-kilobase-pair Stop sequence that contains elements preventing expression of the large tumor-antigen gene and Cre recombinase recognition sites. Progeny from two of these lines were mated with transgenic mice expressing the Cre recombinase under control of either the murine alpha A-crystallin promoter or the human cytomegalovirus promoter. All double-transgenic offspring developed lens tumors. Subsequent analysis confirmed that tumor formation resulted from large tumor-antigen activation via site-specific, Cre-mediated deletion of Stop sequences.