The ability to restrict gene expression or disruption to specific regions of the brain would enhance understanding of the molecular basis for brain development and function. For this purpose, brain region-restricted promoters are essential. Here we report the isolation of a DNA fragment containing the Emx1 gene promoter, which is responsible for dorsal telencephalon-specific expression. The Cre recombinase gene was inserted into a mouse PAC (P1-derived artificial chromosome) Emx1-locus clone (PAC-Emx1#1 clone) and utilized to generate three transgenic mouse lines. In all three lines, especially Tg3, Cre-mediated recombination was highly restricted to Emx1-expressing cell lineages, from embryonic stages to adulthood. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that Cre protein is expressed in the dorsal telencephalon in all three lines in adulthood. Thus, the PAC-Emx1#1 clone contains essentially all regulatory elements necessary for Emx1 gene expression. Our results suggest that Emx1-Cre Tg3 mice and the PAC-Emx1#1 clone constitute powerful tools for dorsal telencephalon-specific gene manipulation.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.