PloS one

A Murine Myh6MerCreMer Knock-In Allele Specifically Mediates Temporal Genetic Deletion in Cardiomyocytes after Tamoxifen Induction.

PMID 26204265


A mouse model that mediates temporal, specific, and efficient myocardial deletion with Cre-LoxP technology will be a valuable tool to determine the function of genes during heart formation. Mhy6 encodes a cardiac muscle specific protein: alpha-myosin heavy chain. Here, we generated a new Myh6-MerCreMer (Myh6(MerCreMer/+)) inducible Cre knock-in mouse by inserting a MerCreMer cassette into the Myh6 start codon. By crossing knock-in mice with Rosa26 reporter lines, we found the Myh6(MerCreMer/+) mice mediate complete Cre-LoxP recombination in cardiomyocytes after tamoxifen induction. X-gal staining and immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that Myh6-driven Cre recombinase was specifically activated in cardiomyocytes at embryonic and adult stages. Furthermore, echocardiography showed that Myh6(MerCreMer/+) mice maintained normal cardiac structure and function before and after tamoxifen administration. These results suggest that the new Myh6(MerCreMer/+) mouse can serve as a robust tool to dissect the roles of genes in heart development and function. Additionally, myocardial progeny during heart development and after cardiac injury can be traced using this mouse line.