Pancreas-specific Cre driver lines and considerations for their prudent use

Cell Metab. 2013 Jul 2;18(1):9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.06.011.


Cre/LoxP has broad utility for studying the function, development, and oncogenic transformation of pancreatic cells in mice. Here we provide an overview of the Cre driver lines that are available for such studies. We discuss how variegated expression, transgene silencing, and recombination in undesired cell types have conspired to limit the performance of these lines, sometimes leading to serious experimental concerns. We also discuss preferred strategies for achieving high-fidelity driver lines and remind investigators of the continuing need for caution when interpreting results obtained from any Cre/LoxP-based experiment performed in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics*
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Hormones / genetics
  • Pancreatic Hormones / metabolism
  • Protein-Lysine 6-Oxidase / genetics
  • Protein-Lysine 6-Oxidase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Transgenic
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Pancreatic Hormones
  • Lox protein, mouse
  • Protein-Lysine 6-Oxidase
  • Cre recombinase
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Integrases
  • Site-specific recombinase