Postnatal lineage mapping of follicular melanocytes with the Tyr::CreERT2 transgene

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Abstract

Summary

One of the main advantages of using inducible and conditional transgenes to study pigment cell biology is that they allow for genetic manipulation within melanocytes after roles in general neural crest or melanoblast development have been fulfilled. Specifically, we focus here on the ability of theTyr::CreERT2transgenic line to alter genes within follicular melanocytes postnatally. Using theGt(ROSA)26Sortm1sorreporter allele, we present in detail the expression and activity ofTyr::CreERT2when induced during hair morphogenesis and adult hair cycling. We find that despite similarities in expression pattern to endogenous TYR,Tyr::CreERT2is effective at targeting both undifferentiated and differentiated melanocytes within the hair follicle. We also find thatTyr::CreERT2provides the highest levels of recombination when induced during the early phases of hair growth. In conclusion, the descriptions provided here will guide future analyses of gene function within the melanocyte system of the hair follicle when using thisTyr::CreERT2transgene.

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