Mammalian Genome

, Volume 23, Issue 9–10, pp 587–599 | Cite as

Beyond knockouts: cre resources for conditional mutagenesis

  • Stephen A. Murray
  • Janan T. Eppig
  • Damian Smedley
  • Elizabeth M. Simpson
  • Nadia Rosenthal


With the effort of the International Phenotyping Consortium to produce thousands of strains with conditional potential gathering steam, there is growing recognition that it must be supported by a rich toolbox of cre driver strains. The approaches to build cre strains have evolved in both sophistication and reliability, replacing first-generation strains with tools that can target individual cell populations with incredible precision and specificity. The modest set of cre drivers generated by individual labs over the past 15+ years is now growing rapidly, thanks to a number of large-scale projects to produce new cre strains for the community. The power of this growing resource, however, depends upon the proper deep characterization of strain function, as even the best designed strain can display a variety of undesirable features that must be considered in experimental design. This must be coupled with the parallel development of informatics tools to provide functional data to the user and facilitated access to the strains through public repositories. We discuss the current progress on all of these fronts and the challenges that remain to ensure the scientific community can capitalize on the tremendous number of mouse resources at their disposal.


Embryonic Stem Cell Line Public Repository Mouse Genome Informatics International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium International Knockout Mouse Consortium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Laura Kus, Hongkui Zeng, Marie-Christine Burling, and Lauryl Nutter for information about individual cre driver programs. Special thanks to Caleb Heffner for his help with details and references for the JAX cre characterization program. This work was supported by NIH Grants HG000330 (JTE), HD062499 (JTE), RR032656 (JTE and SAM), DE020052 (SAM), RR026117 (SAM), and EU Grant HEALTH-F4-2009-223487 (JTE, DS, and NR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Murray
    • 1
  • Janan T. Eppig
    • 1
  • Damian Smedley
    • 2
  • Elizabeth M. Simpson
    • 3
  • Nadia Rosenthal
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.The Jackson LaboratoryBar HarborUSA
  2. 2.The Wellcome Trust Sanger InstituteHinxton, CambridgeUK
  3. 3.Departments of Medical Genetics and Psychiatry, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the Child & Family Research InstituteUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.National Heart and Lung InstituteImperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.EMBL Australia, Australian Regenerative Medicine InstituteMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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