Collagen1alpha1 promoter drives the expression of Cre recombinase in osteoblasts of transgenic mice

J Genet Genomics. 2008 Sep;35(9):525-30. doi: 10.1016/S1673-8527(08)60072-7.


Osteoblasts participate in bone formation, bone mineralization, osteoclast differentiation and many pathological processes. To study the function of genes in osteoblasts using Cre-LoxP system, we generated a mouse line expressing the Cre recombinase under the control of the rat Collagen1alpha1 (Col1alpha1) promoter (Col1alpha1-Cre). Two founders were identified by genomic PCR from 16 offsprings, and the integration efficiency is 12.5%. In order to determine the tissue distribution and the activity of Cre recombinase in the transgenic mice, the Col1alpha1-Cre transgenic mice were bred with the ROSA26 reporter strain and a mouse strain that carries Smad4 conditional alleles (Smad4(Co/Co)). Multiple tissue PCR of Col1alpha1-Cre;Smad4(Co/+)mice revealed the restricted Cre activity in bone tissues containing osteoblasts and tendon. LacZ staining in the Col1alpha1-Cre;ROSA26 double transgenic mice revealed that the Cre recombinase began to express in the osteoblasts of calvaria at E14.5. Cre activity was observed in the osteoblasts and osteocytes of P10 double transgenic mice. All these data indicated that the Col1alpha1-Cre transgenic mice could serve as a valuable tool for osteoblast lineage analysis and conditional gene knockout in osteoblasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen Type I / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Lac Operon
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Rats
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transgenes / genetics*


  • Collagen Type I
  • Gt(ROSA)26Sor non-coding RNA, mouse
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • collagen type I, alpha 1 chain
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases