Large scale international activities for systematic conditional mouse mutagenesis, exploiting advances in the sophisticated manipulation of the mouse genome, has established the mouse as the premier organism for developing models of human disease and drug action. Conditional mutagenesis is critical for the elucidation of the gene functions that exert pleiotropic effects in a variety of cell types and tissues throughout the life of the animal. The majority of new mouse mutants are therefore designed as conditional, activated only in a specific tissue (spatial control) and/or life stage (temporal control) through biogenic Cre/loxP technologies. The full power of conditional mutant mice can therefore only be exploited with the availability of well characterized mouse lines expressing Cre-recombinase in tissue, organ and cell type-specific patterns, to allow the creation of somatic mutations in defined genes. This chapter provides an update on the current state of Cre driver mouse lines worldwide, and reviews the available public databases and portals that capture critical details of Cre driver lines such as the efficiency of recombination, cell tissue specificity, or genetic background effects. The continuously changing landscape of these mouse resources reflects the rapid progression of research and development in conditional and inducible mouse mutagenesis.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.