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Toward simpler and faster genome-wide mutagenesis in mice.

Here we describe a practical Cre-loxP and piggyBac transposon-based mutagenesis strategy to systematically mutate coding sequences and/or the vast noncoding regions of the mouse genome for large-scale functional genomic analysis. To illustrate this approach, we first created loxP-containing loss-of-function alleles in the protocadherin alpha, beta and gamma gene clusters (Pcdha, Pcdhb and Pcdhg). Using these alleles, we show that, under proper guidance, Cre-loxP site-specific recombination can mediate efficient trans-allelic recombination in vivo, facilitating the generation of large germline deletions and duplications including deletions of Pcdha, and Pcdha to Pcdhb, simply by breeding (that is, at frequencies of 5.5%-21.6%). The same breeding method can also generate designed germline translocations between nonhomologous chromosomes at unexpected frequencies of greater than 1%. By incorporating a piggyBac transposon to insert and to distribute loxP sites randomly throughout the mouse genome, we present a simple but comprehensive method for generating genome-wide deletions and duplications, in addition to insertional loss-of-function and conditional rescue alleles, again simply by breeding.

Pubmed ID: 17572674


  • Wu S
  • Ying G
  • Wu Q
  • Capecchi MR


Nature genetics

Publication Data

July 28, 2007

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins
  • Female
  • Genome
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Translocation, Genetic