Generation of a prostate epithelial cell-specific Cre transgenic mouse model for tissue-specific gene ablation

Mech Dev. 2001 Mar;101(1-2):61-9. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(00)00551-7.


To facilitate the elucidation of the genetic events that may play an important role in the development or tumorigenesis of the prostate gland, we have generated a transgenic mouse line with prostate-specific expression of Cre recombinase. This line, named PB-Cre4, carries the Cre gene under the control of a composite promoter, ARR2PB which is a derivative of the rat prostate-specific probasin (PB) promoter. Based on RT-PCR detection of Cre mRNA in PB-Cre4 mice or Cre-mediated activation of LacZ activity in PB-Cre4/R26R double transgenic mice, it is conclusively demonstrated that Cre expression is post-natal and prostatic epithelium-specific. Although the Cre recombination is detected in all lobes of the mouse prostate, there is a significant difference in expression levels between the lobes, being highest in the lateral lobe, followed by the ventral, and then the dorsal and anterior lobes. Besides the prostate gland, no other tissues of the adult PB-Cre4 mice demonstrate significant Cre expression, except for a few scattered areas in the gonads and the stroma of the seminal vesicle. By crossing the PB-Cre4 animals with floxed RXRalpha allelic mice, we demonstrate that mice, whose conventional knockout of this gene is lethal in embryogenesis, could be propagated with selective inactivation of RXRalpha in the prostate. Taken together, the results show that the PB-Cre4 mice have high levels of Cre expression and a high penetrance in the prostatic epithelium. The PB-Cre4 mice will be a useful resource for genetic-based studies on prostate development and prostatic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Epithelium / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Galactosides / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Indoles / metabolism
  • Integrases / biosynthesis*
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Prostate / growth & development
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transgenes
  • Viral Proteins*


  • Galactosides
  • Indoles
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Viral Proteins
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl beta-galactoside