A mouse line expressing Foxa2-driven Cre recombinase in node, notochord, floorplate, and endoderm

Genesis. 2008 Oct;46(10):515-22. doi: 10.1002/dvg.20410.


Foxa2 is a forkhead transcription factor expressed in the node, notochord, floorplate, and definitive endoderm and is required in the foregut endoderm for the normal development of the endoderm-derived organs, such as the liver, lung and pancreas. To conditionally inactivate genes in these tissues and organs, we have targeted a Cre recombinase into Exon 1 of the Foxa2 gene. We show, upon crossing to the ROSA26 reporter mice, that Cre expression from the Foxa2(iCre) knock-in allele specifically activates beta-galactosidase expression in the node, notochord, floorplate, and endoderm. In addition, we detect Cre recombination activity in the endoderm-derived organs including lung, liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract throughout development. These results demonstrate that the Foxa2(iCre) knock-in mice are a valuable tool to analyze gene function in endoderm progenitors and endoderm-derived organs. Moreover, the widespread beta-galactosidase reporter activity in the endoderm suggests that Foxa2 marks a progenitor cell population, which gives rise to the majority of cells in endoderm-derived organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Endoderm / metabolism*
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta / physiology*
  • Integrases / biosynthesis
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Notochord / metabolism*


  • FOXA2 protein, human
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases