by Yao-Song Gui, Lianmei Wang, Xinlun Tian, Ruie Feng, Aiping Ma, Baiqiang Cai, Hongbing Zhang, Kai-Feng Xu
Although several Cre-loxP-based gene knockout mouse models have been generated for the study of gene function in alveolar epithelia in the lung, their applications are still limited. In this study, we developed a SPC-Cre-ERT2 mouse model, in which a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase (Cre-ERT2) is under the control of the human surfactant protein C (SPC) promoter. The specificity and efficiency of Cre-ERT2 activity was first evaluated by crossing SPC-Cre-ERT2 mouse with ROSA26R mouse, a ß-galactosidase reporter strain. We found that Cre-ERT2 was expressed in 30.7% type II alveolar epithelial cells of SPC-Cre-ERT2/ROSA26R mouse lung tissues in the presence of tamoxifen. We then tested the tamoxifen-inducible recombinase activity of Cre-ERT2 in a mouse strain bearing TSC1 conditional knockout alleles (TSC1fx/fx). TSC1 deletion was detected in the lungs of tamoxifen treated SPC-Cre-ERT2/TSC1fx/fx mice. Therefore this SPC-Cre-ERT2 mouse model may be a valuable tool to investigate functions of genes in lung development, physiology and disease.