Sox17 encodes an SRY-related high-mobility group (HMG) box transcription factor that is essential for endoderm formation and fetal hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. In the mouse, expression of Sox17 is first observed in the extraembryonic endoderm and is subsequently seen in the definitive endoderm as well as in blood and the endothelial cells of the developing vasculature. To conditionally inactivate genes in these domains, we have targeted the Sox17 locus to generate a bicistronic mRNA linking Sox17 to a codon improved Cre recombinase (iCre) via a viral 2A sequence. Here we report a new Cre knock-in mouse line, Sox17-2A-iCre, with activity in the developing endoderm, the vascular endothelial cells of the cardiovascular system and the hematopoietic system. Our results indicate that the Sox17-2A-iCre is active in an early endoderm progenitor and recombination of the Rosa26 reporter was observed in all previously reported expression domains of Sox17. The Sox17-2A-iCre line will be an excellent tool to conditionally inactivate genes in the definitive endoderm as well as in the vasculature and hematopoietic system.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.