Generation of mice with a novel conditional null allele of the Sox9 gene.Biotechnol Lett. 2011 Aug; 33(8):1551-8.BL
Sox9 is expressed in multiple tissues during mouse development and adulthood. Mutations in the Sox9 gene or changes in expression levels can be attributed to many congenital diseases. Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the human SOX9 gene cause Campomelic dysplasia, a semi-lethal skeletal malformation syndrome. Disruption of Sox9 by conventional gene targeting leads to perinatal lethality in heterozygous mice, hence hampering the feasibility to obtain the homozygous Sox9 null mice for in vivo functional studies. In this study, we generated a conditional allele of Sox9 (Sox9 (tm4.Tlu)) by flanking exon 1 with loxP sites. Homozygous mice for the Sox9 (tm4.Tlu) allele (Sox9 (flox/flox)) are viable, fertile and indistinguishable from wildtype (WT) mice, indicating that the Sox9 (tm4.Tlu) allele is a fully functional Sox9 allele. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Cre-mediated recombination using a Col2a1-Cre line resulted in specific ablation of Sox9 activity in cartilage tissues.