Direct Generation of Conditional Alleles Using CRISPR/Cas9 in Mouse Zygotes
Conditional alleles in genetically modified mice allow for the deletion of a gene of interest in a target tissue when combined with a tissue-specific Cre recombinase. A conditional allele is achieved by introducing LoxP sites around a critical exon, a gene, or a cluster of genes. Previously, conditional alleles were introduced in the mouse germline by classic gene targeting in embryonic stem cells, a challenging and time-consuming procedure. Now, conditional alleles can be generated directly in fertilized mouse eggs (zygotes) using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. This one-step generation of mice is easier in design and faster. Here, we describe our achieved success rate, the considerations in design of a conditional allele, a detailed protocol to prepare the zygote injection mix, and the screening procedure to identify the new conditional knockout mouse strain.