Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutation in the 2.4-Mb dystrophin (DMD) gene . This gene encodes a number of tissue-specific isoforms of dystrophin generated by transcription from at least seven promoters and also by alternative splicing. We deleted entire genomic region of the DMD gene on mouse chromosome X using a Cre-loxP recombination system. Introduction of a loxP site in dystrophin's first and last exon by homologous recombination in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells generated "DMD-floxed" (flanked by loxP sites) ES cells, which we subjected to Cre-mediated excision leading to establishment of "DMD-null" ES cell lines. The DMD-null mice produced from the DMD-null ES cells were viable but displayed severe muscular hypertrophy and dystrophy. In addition to the muscular impairment, the DMD-null mouse exhibited some behavioral abnormality and male sterility. The DMD-floxed mice produced from the DMD-floxed ES cells were viable, phenotypically normal, and were born with the expected Mendelian frequency, despite the absence of brain (cortical)-type dystrophin (Dp427c) expression. Since production of multiple dystrophin isoforms due to alternative splicing or exon skipping is totally prevented in the DMD-null mouse, these new mutants will provide an improved model system for functional studies of dystrophin and its isoforms.