The hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (Hprt) locus has been shown to have minimal influence on transgene expression when used as a surrogate site in the mouse genome. We have developed a method to transfer bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) as a single copy into the partially deleted Hprt locus of embryonic stem cells. BACs were modified by Cre/loxP recombination to contain the sequences necessary for homologous recombination into and complementation of the partially deleted Hprt locus. Modified BACs were shown to undergo homologous recombination into the genome intact, to be stably transmitted through the germ line of transgenic mice, and to be expressed in the proper tissue-specific manner. This technology will facilitate many studies in which correct interpretation of data depends on developmentally appropriate transgene expression in the absence of rearrangements or deletions of endogenous DNA.
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