The Wnt1-Cre2 transgene is active in the male germline

pubmed: wnt1 2022-06-23

Genesis. 2022 Mar;60(3):e23468. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23468. Epub 2022 Feb 18.


The Wnt1-Cre transgenic mouse line is widely used to express the CRE recombinase in neural crest lineages, but it overexpresses WNT1 itself, which can cause undesired phenotypes. To address this, we and others previously developed a Wnt1-Cre2 line based on the same regulatory elements as Wnt1-Cre but without ectopic Wnt1 expression. However, while Wnt1-Cre2 exhibits normal activity when transmitted from female mice, it exhibits unexpected activity in the male germline. The Wnt1-Cre2 transgene was previously mapped to the E2f1 locus. Several genes in this genomic region exhibit significant expression in spermatogonia or spermatocytes, suggesting that local regulatory elements may be driving ectopic transgene expression. The Wnt1-Cre2 line can therefore be used both as a neural crest specific and a general deleter, and care should be taken when setting up genetic crosses.

PMID:35180326 | PMC:PMC8940701 | DOI:10.1002/dvg.23468