Developmental defects and disruption of molecular pathways of the cardiac conduction system (CCS) can cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Despite decades of effort, knowledge about the development and molecular control of the CCS remains primitive. Mouse genetics, complementary to other approaches such as human genetics, has become a key tool for exploring the developmental processes of various organs and associated diseases. Genetic analysis using mouse models will likely provide great insights about the development of the CCS, which can facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat arrhythmias. To enable genetic studies of the CCS, CCS-associated Cre mouse models are essential. However, existing mouse models with Cre activity reported in the CCS have various limitations such as Cre leak, haploinsufficiency, and inadequate specificity of the Cre activity. To circumvent those limitations, we successfully generated Hcn4-CreERT2 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice using BAC recombineering in which Cre activity was specifically detected in the entire CCS after tamoxifen induction. Our Hcn4-CreERT2 BAC transgenic line will be an invaluable genetic tool with which to dissect the developmental control of CCS and arrhythmias.
- Cardiac conduction system
- Inducible Cre line