The mb1 gene encodes the Ig-α signaling subunit of the B cell antigen receptor and is expressed exclusively in B cells beginning at the very early pro-B cell stage in the bone marrow. We examine here the efficacy of the mb1 gene as a host locus for cre recombinase expression in B cells. We show that by integrating a humanized cre recombinase into the mb1 locus we obtain extraordinarily efficient recombination of loxP sites in the B cell lineage. The results from a variety of reporter genes including the splicing factor SRp20 and the DNA methylase Dnmt1 suggest that mb1-cre is probably the best model so far described for pan-B cell-specific cre expression. The availability of a mouse line with efficient cre-mediated recombination at an early developmental stage in the B lineage provides an opportunity to study the role of various genes specifically in B cell development and function
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