Cre and FLP recombinases mediate not only specific deletions and insertions, but also the recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) reaction, which is used in cell biotechnology including ES cells and mouse genetics. However, comparison of efficiencies for Cre and FLP in RMCE has not been made. We here examined the detailed process of RMCE with Cre and FLP in vitro using mutant loxP 2272 and three mutant FRTs (FRT G, FRT H, and FRT F3) and then quantitatively compared the RMCE reactions in vitro. Interestingly, in the in vitro reactions, the RMCE efficiency of Cre reached a plateau level of approximately 5% and did not proceed further, whereas that of FLPe reached approximately 12-13%, showing that FLPe reached a higher level of efficiency than Cre possibly when they were supplied at a very high concentration. Moreover, we quantitatively compared the production efficiency of E1-deleted adenovirus vector using the RMCE method with Cre or FLP. The results showed that FLPe was again found more efficient than Cre in RMCE reaction. Thus, although Cre is considered more active than, or similar to, FLPe, it may not be necessarily true for RMCE reaction. Possible reasons explaining these results are discussed.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 by the Molecular Biology Society of Japan/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.