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Table 1 Comparison of published CRE transgenic lines with lens expression

From: Considerations for the use of Cre recombinase for conditional gene deletion in the mouse lens

Name Promoter elements Method of creation Lens expression Non-lens expression Status Coding sequences Notes
Ap2α-IRESCre Endogenous mouse Tcfap2α gene Embryonic stem cell targeted mutation Head surface ectoderm prior to lens placode formation (before E9.0) Extensive head and trunk surface ectoderm and neural crest cells Available CRE IRES-CRE targeted to the 3’ UTR of the Tcfap2α gene
Le-Cre 6.5 Kb mouse Pax6 P0 promoter including both the ectodermal enhancer and retina/pancreas enhancer. Approximately 400 bp mouse Pax6 sequence follows the GFP coding sequence Zygote microinjection Lens placode and surrounding surface ectoderm by E9.5 with expression continuing in lens epithelium Endocrine pancreas, all surface ectoderm-derived eye structures, epidermis from eye to snout Available CRE and GFP Nuclear-localized CRE separated from GFP by an IRES. Microphthalmia in homozygotes and genetic background-dependent variable ocular abnormalities in hemizygotes
LR-Cre Three tandem copies of the mouse Pax6 P0 ectodermal enhancer upstream of the minimal P0 promoter Zygote microinjection Lens placode and surrounding surface ectoderm by E9.5 Optic vesicle by E9.5 Available CRE and GFP CRE separated from GFP by an IRES
MLR10 366 bp mouse αA-crystallin promoter with an internal insertion of a 20 bp Pax6 consensus binding site Zygote microinjection Lens vesicle by E10.5–11 Snout and vibrissae follicles, as well as in parts of the midbrain and pituitary gland by E12.5 Available CRE  
MLR39 366 bp mouse αA-crystallin promoter driving CRE with co-injected Tyrosinase minigene Zygote microinjection Lens fiber cells by E12.5 Mosaic RPE expression of CRE Available CRE and tyrosinase Co-injection of both the CRE and tyrosinase transgene resulted in light coat and RPE pigmentation. CRE restricted to lens fibers and RPE
mαA-Cre 366 bp mouse αA-crystallin promoter Zygote microinjection Assumed in lens fiber cells by E12.5 Unknown Extinct CRE First demonstrated use of CRE recombination in transgenic mice
Nes-Cre Approximately 5 kb rat nestin promoter with nestin nervous system-specific enhancer following the human growth hormone poly adenylation signal Zygote microinjection Lens epithelium and fiber cells by E14.5 Central and peripheral nervous system, ciliary body and isolated expression in the heart and kidney Available CRE Widespread non-lens expression including retina and ciliary body within the eye
P0-3.9GFPCre 3.9 Kb mouse Pax6 P0 promoter including both the ectodermal enhancer and retina/pancreas enhancer Zygote microinjection Lens placode and surrounding surface ectoderm by E9.5 with expression continuing in lens epithelium Endocrine pancreas, stomach mesenchyme, apical ectodermal ridge, all surface ectoderm-derived eye structures, epidermis from eye to snout Available CRE and GFP CRE and GFP are expressed as a fusion gene
Pax6(lens)-Cre Minimal mouse P0 Pax6 promoter preceded by a single copy of the 340 bp ectodermal enhancer Zygote microinjection Lens placode by E9.5 Unknown Extinct CRE