NEUROSCIENCE

Beware the unexpected in Cre drivers

Luo, L. et al. Neuron https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.01.008 (2020).

The Cre–loxP system allows temporal and/or spatial control over reporter gene expression in model organisms, particularly the mouse. But all is not well with this tool: undesirable expression patterns can appear. Such problems can arise from unwanted germline expression of the Cre recombinase. Alternatively, mosaic expression of the Cre driver can complicate genotyping. In addition, recombination can be more or less efficient, depending on the floxed locus. Luo et al. have analyzed the rates of germline recombination in two commonly used Cre mouse lines and collected similar data for a broad selection of additional Cre lines widely used in the neuroscience community. The researchers recommend breeding strategies to deal with these problems and provide additional guidelines. Finally, the phenomenon is not restricted to mice but can also be observed in zebrafish Cre lines.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nina Vogt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Vogt, N. Beware the unexpected in Cre drivers. Nat Methods 17, 364 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-020-0815-y

Download citation

Search

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing