Three mouse lines expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the human K14 promoter induced specific deletion of loxP flanked target sequences in the epidermis, in tongue, and thymic epithelium of the offspring where the Cre allele was inherited from the father. Where the mother carried the Cre allele, loxP flanked sequences were completely deleted in all tissues of the offspring, even in littermates that did not inherit the Cre allele. This maternally inherited phenotype indicates that the human K14 promoter is transcriptionally active in murine oocytes and that the enzyme remains active until after fertilization, even when the Cre allele becomes transmitted to the polar bodies during meiosis. Detection of K14 mRNA by RT-PCR in murine ovaries and immunohistochemical identification of the K14 protein in oocytes demonstrates that the human K14 promoter behaves like its murine homolog, thus identifying K14 as an authentic oocytic protein.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.