Heat shock protein 2 promoter drives Cre expression in spermatocytes of transgenic mice.
We generated transgenic mouse line C57BL/6-Tg(Hspa2-cre)1Eddy/J (Hspa2-cre), which expresses cre-recombinase under the control of a 907-bp fragment of the heat shock protein 2 (Hspa2) gene promoter. Transgene expression was determined using Gt(ROSA)26Sor(tm1Sor)/J (ROSA26) and Tg(CAG-Bgeo/GFP)21Lbe/J (Z/EG) reporter strains and RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry assays. Hspa2-cre expression mimicked the spermatogenic cell-specific expression of endogenous HSPA2 within the testis, being first observed in leptotene/zygotene spermatocytes. Expression of the transgene also was detected at restricted sites in the brain, as occurs for endogenous HSPA2. Although the results of mating the Hspa2-cre mice to mice with a floxed Cdc2a allele indicated that some expression of the transgene occurs during embryogenesis, the Hspa2-cre mice provide a valuable new tool for assessing the roles of genes during and after meiotic prophase in pachytene spermatocytes.