To generate temporally-controlled targeted somatic mutations selectively and efficiently in smooth muscles, we have established a transgenic SMA-Cre-ER(T2) mouse line in which the expression of the Tamoxifen-dependent Cre-ER(T2) recombinase is under the control of a large genomic DNA segment of the mouse smooth muscle alpha actin (SMA) gene, contained in a Bacterial artificial chromosome (Bac). In this transgenic mouse line, Cre-ER(T2)-mediated recombination of LoxP-flanked target DNA is strictly Tamoxifen-dependent, and efficient in both vascular and visceral smooth muscle cells. Moreover, with the exception of few cardiomyocytes, LoxP-flanked DNA excision is restricted to smooth muscle cells. Thus, SMA-Cre-ER(T2) mice should be of great value to analyze gene function in smooth muscles, and to establish new animal models of human smooth muscle disorders.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.