Targeted somatic mutagenesis in the mouse epidermis

Methods Mol Biol. 2005:289:329-40. doi: 10.1385/1-59259-830-7:329.


The efficient introduction of somatic mutations in a given gene at a given time and in specific cell types of the skin will greatly facilitate the studies of a number of genes expressed in the skin and the production of animal models for skin diseases. We describe here strategies and techniques to create spatiotemporally controlled somatic mutations of target genes in the skin using a conditional Cre/LoxP system. They are based on cell-specific expression of the chimeric Cre recombinase Cre-ERT2, whose activity is induced by antiestrogens such as Tamoxifen (Tam), and which is obtained by fusing the Cre recombinase with a mutated ligand binding domain of the human estrogen receptor ERalpha. As an example, we present ablation of the retinoid receptor RXRalpha in epidermal basal keratinocytes of adult mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / pharmacology
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Tamoxifen / pharmacology
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • Viral Proteins
  • Tamoxifen
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases