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Original Article

Exp Neurobiol 2021; 30(3): 203-212

Published online June 30, 2021

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Cell Type-specific Knockout with Gli1-mediated Cre Recombination in the Developing Cerebellum

Jung-Mi Choi1†, Rakshya Acharya1,2†, Subash Marasini3, Bashyal Narayan1,2, Kwang-Wook Lee1, Woo Sup Hwang1, Da-Young Chang3, Sung-Soo Kim1,2* and Haeyoung Suh-Kim1,2,3*

1Department of Anatomy, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 16499, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 16499, 3Research Center, CelleBrain Ltd., Jeonju 54871, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sung-Soo Kim, TEL: 82-31-219-5036, FAX: 82-31-219-5034
Haeyoung Suh-Kim, TEL: 82-31-219-5036, FAX: 82-31-219-5039
These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: June 9, 2021; Revised: June 29, 2021; Accepted: June 29, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The inducible Cre-loxP system provides a useful tool for inducing the selective deletion of genes that are essential for proper development and enables the study of gene functions in properly developed animals. Here, we show that inducible Cre-loxP driven by the Gli1-promoter can induce cell-type-specific deletion of target genes in cerebellar cortical neurons. We used reporter mice containing the YFP (yellow fluorescence protein) gene at the Gt(ROSA)26Sor locus with a loxP-flanked transcriptional stop sequence, in which successful Cre-mediated excision of the stop sequence is indicated by YFP expression in Cre-expressing cells. Administration of tamoxifen during early postnatal days (P4~7) induces Cre-dependent excision of stop sequences and allows YFP expression in proliferating neuronal progenitor cells in the external granule layer and Bergmann glia in the Purkinje cell layer. A substantial number of YFP-positive progenitor cells in the external granule layer migrated to the internal granule cell layer and became granule cell neurons. By comparison, injection of tamoxifen during late postnatal days (P19~22) induces YFP expression only in Bergmann glia, and most granule cell neurons were devoid of YFP expression. The results indicate that the Gli1 promoter is temporarily active in progenitor cells in the external granule layer during the early postnatal period but constitutively active in Bergmann glia. We propose that the Gli1-mediated CreER system can be applied for the conditional deletion of genes of interest from cerebellar granule cell neurons and/or Bergmann glia.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Cerebellum, Cre recombinase, Tamoxifen, Gli1, Bergmann glia, Granule cell neuron