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Cre-Lox Cre-lox Plasmids


The Cre-lox system, derived from P1 bacteriophage, is a potent and specific system for controlling gene expression. The protein Cre recombinase recognizes 34 bp loxP sites, and the orientation and location of the loxP sites determines how the genetic material will be rearranged. The schematic below shows the three types of rearrangements: inversion, deletion and translocation.

  • Inversion: If the loxP sites are on the same DNA strand and are in opposite orientations, recombination results in an inversion and the region of DNA between the loxP sites is reversed.
  • Deletion: If the sites face in the same direction, the sequence between the loxP sites is excised as a circular piece of DNA (and is not maintained).
  • Translocation: If the sites are on separate DNA molecules, a translocation event is generated at the loxP sites.
recombination outcomes from loxp site orientation

For a more thorough introduction, check out Addgene’s Cre-lox blog post.

Based on these Cre-lox recombination principles, scientists have developed constructs to activate/inactivate genes when Cre is present. By expressing Cre at specific times or locations, you can precisely control expression of your gene of interest. Many Cre constructs also contain fluorescent labels that indicate if recombination has occurred, allowing for direct comparison of Cre+ and Cre- cells. While Cre-lox recombination is a very useful tool, Cre expression can be toxic in some systems, notably Drosophila. Read Addgene's Blog on Cre alternatives from Gerald Rubin's lab.

Cre-containing Plasmids

Scientists have developed ways to tightly control Cre expression and to optimize Cre expression once it is induced. Addgene has a wide variety of Cre recombinase plasmids. Special features include:

  • Inducible Cre: These constructs require the addition of an exogenous ligand (e.g. tamoxifen) to activate Cre. One advantage of this system is tight temporal regulation.
  • Promoter-regulated Cre: The promoter region defines the areas in which Cre will be expressed. Cre may be expressed globally under a broadly active promoter like CAG, or expressed only in a subset of cells under a more specific promoter (e.g. Rho-Cre is expressed in the retina).
  • Fluorescent Cre: The fusion of Cre to a fluorescent reporter enables visualization of Cre expression.
  • Optimized Cre: Codon-optimized Cre (iCre) is expressed at higher levels in mice than P1 bacteriophage Cre, facilitating high rates of Cre-driven recombination. CREM (or Cre-M) has been engineered to contain an intron, preventing Cre expression when cloning in E. coli. This alteration enables the generation of a single vector containing Cre and a floxed construct (unmodified Cre will cause recombination in E. coli, deleting the floxed portion of a construct during the cloning process). VCre and SCre are alternative Cre recombinases that recognize specific mutant loxP sites, VloxP and SloxP sites respectively.
  • Split Cre: Cre recombinase is split in half into N and C terminal Cre fragments (NCre and CCre, respectively) and placed under the control of different promoters. Expression of both N and CCre in the same cell type allows for recombination of LoxP flanked DNA sequences.

Use the search box below to find the perfect Cre expression construct for your experiment. You can search the table for the promoter, fusion, or expression system of choice. We also offer ready-to-use viral preparations of select Cre expression plasmids. Addgene's viral service provides high-quality and high-titer viral preparations of plasmids that are currently in our repository. Both AAV and Lenti preps of Cre are available.

   ID Plasmid Description Promoter Expression System PI
8394 p209 pCMV-cre-K Cre-K CMV Mammalian Green
8395 p210 pCMV-CREM CREM CMV Mammalian Green
8401 p224 pCMV-RFP/CREM floxed RFP within CREM CMV Mammalian Green
8403 p153 pPr-cre Cre probasin Mammalian Green
8404 p236 pPr-CREM CREM probasin Mammalian Green
8405 p240 pPr-CREM/Ins CREM with insulators probasin Mammalian Green
8406 p252 pPr-CREM/CMV-STOP-luc CREM and CMV-STOP-luc cassette probasin Mammalian Green
8408 p255 pPr-CREM/Ins/CMV-STOP-luc CREM and CMV-STOP-luc cassette, separated by insulator probasin Mammalian Green
11543 pPGK-Cre-bpA Cre PGK Mammalian Rajewsky
11916 pBS185 CMV-Cre Cre hCMV Mammalian Sauer
11918 pBS513 EF1alpha-cre Cre EF-1 alpha Mammalian Sauer
11919 pBS448 RSV-GFPcre Cre-GFP fusion Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) LTR/promoter Mammalian Sauer
11920 pBS500 EF1alpha-GFPcre Cre-GFP fusion EF-1 alpha Mammalian Sauer
11923 pBS598 EF1alpha-EGFPcre Cre-EGFP fusion EF-1 alpha Mammalian Sauer
11955 pBS505 EF1alpha-EGFPcre* Cre-EGFP fusion EF-1 alpha Mammalian Sauer
11956 pBS594 promoterless EGFPcre Cre-EGFP fusion in a promoterless vector with several available restriction sites none Mammalian Sauer
11957 pBS595 tet-hCMV-EGFPcre Cre-EGFP fusion Tet inducible Mammalian Sauer
11958 pBS532 promoterless GFPcre promoterless CRE-GFP fusion none Mammalian Sauer
11960 pBS537 tet-hCMV-GFPcre tet inducible Cre-GFP fusion tet-hCMV Mammalian Sauer
11961 pBS596 tet-hCMV-GFPcre tet inducible Cre-GFP fusion, metallothionein MT-I region including the polyadenylation site and several introns tet-hCMV Mammalian Sauer
12168 pMB80 (R26-CreER) Cre-ERT2 with loxp cassette; Targeting vector for Rosa26 locus Mammalian Jacks
12238 pLOX-CW-CRE Cre CMV Lentiviral Trono
12265 pHR-CMV-nlsCRE Cre CMV Lentiviral Trono
12493 p259 pCMV-CRE-M (BglII) CREM CMV Mammalian Green
12494 p260 pCMV-CRE-M-AR(wt) CREM fused to AR ligand binding domain CMV Mammalian Green
12496 p270 pCMV-CRE-M-AR(LNCaP) CREM fused to mutant AR ligand binding domain CMV Mammalian Green
12497 p274 pCMV-CRE-M-AR(T) CREM fused to mutant AR ligand binding domain CMV Mammalian Green
12529 pBS MCK CRE Muscle-specific expression of Cre MCK Mammalian Kahn
13763 pTriEx-HTNC Cre fused to HIV-TAT - promotes cellular uptake of recombinant Cre Bacterial Rajewsky
13775 pCAG-Cre Cre-Myc CAG Mammalian Cepko
13776 pCAG-Cre:GFP Cre-GFP fusion CAG Mammalian Cepko
13777 pCAG-ERT2CreERT2 ERT2-Cre-ERT2-Tamoxifen inducible CAG Mammalian Cepko
13779 pRho-Cre Cre-Myc rhodopsin Mammalian Cepko
13780 pNrl-Cre Cre-Myc, Expressed in rod photorecetor cells in the retina Nrl Mammalian Cepko
13962 pBS mPrx1 Cre (CT#644) Cre; expression in developing limb mouse Prx1 Bacterial Tabin
14796 pClusterin-ERT2CreERT2 ERT2-Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible. Expressed in Muller glia in the retina. Clusterin Mammalian Cepko
14797 pCAG-CreERT2 Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible CAG Mammalian Cepko
15028 Hsp68-CreER(TM) (DM#264) CRE-ER(TM) - Tamoxifen inducible Hsp68 Mammalian Melton
15508 pBS-OMP-CreFNF OMP targeting vector with Cre FNF (neo-selectable marker flanked by FRT sites) Mammalian Mombaerts
15509 pBS-M71-IRES-CreFNF M71 targeting vector with IRES CreFNF (neo-selectable marker flanked by FRT sites) Mammalian Mombaerts
17408 Puro.Cre empty vector Cre, Puro resistance and miRNA expression PGK Lentiviral Jacks
17736 pOG231 NLS-Cre CMV Mammalian Wahl
19131 pIC-Cre Cre Bacterial Rajewsky
22776 MSCV CreERT2 puro Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible Retroviral Jacks
24064 MSCV-Cre Cre and EGFP coexpression Retroviral Littman
24333 ins-cre_cryaa-Venus Cre-Venus fusion insulin Zebrafish Stainier
24593 AAV-pgk-Cre codon optimized Cre PGK AAV Aebischer
24704 GFAP-Cre Cre GFAP Mammalian Sofroniew
25997 LV-Cre pLKO.1 Cre and shRNA coexpression CMV Lentiviral Fuchs
26646 pCAG-Cre-IRES2-GFP Cre and GFP coexpression CAG Mammalian Chenn
26647 pCAG-Cre Cre CAG Mammalian Chenn
26745 pDIRE iCre and FlpO, required for dual RMCE EF-1 alpha Mammalian Zeller
26850 pBF3038 Cre codon optimized for yeast Gal1 Yeast Sandmeyer
26853 pBF3060 Cre codon optimized for yeast Gal1 Yeast Sandmeyer
26888 pmCherry-CRY2-CreN CRY2-CreN and mCherry coexpression; Light inducible; Use with plasmid 26889. Mammalian Tucker
26889 pmCherry-CIBN-CreC CIBN-CreC and mCherry coexpression; Light inducible; Use with plasmid 26888. Mammalian Tucker
27321 pENTR/D_creERt2 Cre-ERt2 - Tamoxifin inducible; Gateway entry vector none Entry Vector Zon
27493 pBT140 Cre CMV Mammalian Luo
27546 pLM-CMV-R-Cre Cre and mCherry coexpression CMV Lentiviral Sadelain
30205 Cre-IRES-PuroR Cre and PuroR coexpression EF-1 alpha Lentiviral Kotton
30524 pCSHSP:Cre heat shock inducible Cre Xenopus hsp70 Xenopus Ryffel
30525 pBSHSP:Cre;CMV:tdTomato-SceI Cre and tdTomato coexpression Xenopus hsp70 Xenopus Ryffel
31132 pCSCre Cre CMV Xenopus Ryffel
31309 pCARCre Cre cardiac actin Xenopus Ryffel
32144 pJFRC170-3XUAS-IVS-Cre::PEST Cre expressed at low levels to reduce toxicity; See PI page for other recombinases that are less toxic in Drosophila hsp70 Insect Rubin
32606 Ttr:Cre Cre expressed in visceral endoderm MCK Mammalian Hadjantonakis
33340 LGmCreER (self deleting) Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifin inducible PGK Retroviral Lowe
33342 LGmCreER (non-self deleting) Cre-ERT2 PGK Retroviral Lowe
33344 pLEW100cre-EP1-6G Cre T. brucei Cross
33345 pLEW100cre-EP1 Cre Trypanosoma brucei Cross
34564 pMSCVpuro-Cre Cre 5'LTR Retroviral Ge
34565 pMSCVhygro-Cre Cre and HygroR coexpression Retroviral Ge
34568 WZLneo-Cre Cre 5'LTR Retroviral Ge
35619 pTAT-CRE Cre fused to HIV-TAT Bacterial Dowdy
36915 pJJH1320 Cre Bacterial Heinisch
37404 Cre Shine Cre::2A::targeted FP construct CMV Mammalian Hughes
40591 hGFAP-Cre mouse astrocyte expression of Cre hGFAP Mammalian Messing
45359 pNK-TGCK Cre-EGFP fusion; Tet inducible - rrTA expression driven by mouse Nkx cardiac enhancer and promoter fragment minimal TetO-CMV Mammalian Wu
45863 pCM157 Cre lac Bacterial Lidstrom
46388 pFosCreER Cre-ERT2;Targeting vector for Fos locus Mammalian Luo
46389 pArcCreER Cre-ERT2;Targeting vector for Arc locus Mammalian Luo
47117 pT3TS-Cre for in vitro transcription of Cre lac Bacterial Ekker
47551 pDD104 (Peft-3::Cre) Cre eft-3 C. elegans Goldstein
48201 CAG-GFP-IRES-CRE Cre and GFP coexpression CAG Retroviral Gage
49054 CAG-GFP/cre Cre-GFP fusion CAG Retroviral Gage
49056 AAV-GFP/Cre Cre-GFP fusion CMV AAV Gage
49111 pEMS1980 iCre with MCS for inserting promoter none AAV Simpson
49455 pSH62-EBD Cre-EBD - Estradiol-dependent control Gal1 Yeast Gartenberg
50797 pUAS-Cre Cre UAS/Hsp70 Mammalian Cepko
50935 MSCV-PIG-Cre Cre and GFP coexpression PGK Retroviral Pandolfi
51263 hGFAP-Roxed-Cre Dre-dependent Roxed-Cre GFAP Mammalian Pelczar
51267 pCAG-Co-InCreN C-terminal component of the Co-InCre system CAG Mammalian Pelczar
51268 pCAG-Co-InCreC N-terminal component of the Co-InCre system CAG Mammalian Pelczar
51273 pCAG-Roxed-Cre Dre-respondent Cre CAG Mammalian Pelczar
51276 Thy1.2-Roxed-Cre Dre-respondent Cre Thy1 Mammalian Pelczar
51507 AAV pmSyn1-EBFP-Cre Cre-EBFP fusion; Expression in neurons. synapsin AAV Zeng
51904 paavCAG-iCre iCre CAG AAV Kim
55632 pAAV-Ef1a-mCherry-IRES-Cre Cre and mCherry coexpression EF-1 alpha AAV Deisseroth
55635 pAAV-EF1a-sCre SCre EF-1 alpha AAV Deisseroth
55636 pAAV-EF1a-Cre Cre EF-1 alpha AAV Deisseroth
55638 pAAV-EF1a-vCre VCre EF-1 alpha AAV Deisseroth
59701 pRetroQ-Cre-ERT2 Cre-ERT2 -Tamoxifen inducible cmvIE Retroviral Youle
59720 Nanog-CreER targeting construct Cre-ERT2; Targeting vector for Nanog locus mNanog Mammalian Hanna
60226 AAV:ITR-U6-sgRNA(backbone)-pEFS-Rluc-2A-Cre-WPRE-hGHpA-ITR Cre, luciferase, and sgRNA expression EFS AAV Zhang
60229 AAV:ITR-U6-sgRNA(backbone)-pCBh-Cre-WPRE-hGHpA-ITR Cre and sgRNA coexpression Cbh AAV Zhang
60231 AAV:ITR-U6-sgRNA(backbone)-hSyn-Cre-2A-EGFP-KASH-WPRE-shortPA-ITR Cre, KASH-tagged EGFP, and sgRNA expression hSyn AAV Zhang
60820 pSECC Cre, Cas9 and sgRNA expression EF-1 alpha Lentiviral Jacks
60877 pMAZe Cre and dtomato hsp70 Zebrafish Lewis
60930 pPL5071_TEF1*-Cre_URA3 Cre expressed at low levels mutant TEF2 Yeast Piper
60931 pPL5608_TEF1*-Cre_TRP1 Cre expressed at low levels mutant TEF1 Yeast Piper
60932 pPL5606_TEF1*-Cre_ADE2 Cre expressed at low levels mutant TEF1 Yeast Piper
60933 pPL5628_TEF1*-Cre_MET15 Cre expressed at low levels mutant TEF3 Yeast Piper
61391 pCS2-Cre.zf1 Cre codon modified for zebrafish CMV Zebrafish Burgess
61570 Pvalb-2A-Cre targeting vector Cre; Targeting vector for Pvalb locus Mammalian Zeng
61573 Rasgrf2-2A-dCre targeting vector DHFR-destabilized Cre; targeting vector for Rasgrf2 Mammalian Zeng
61574 Slc17a7-IRES2-Cre targeting vector Cre; Targeting vector for Slc17a7 locus Mammalian Zeng
62219 Nxph4-2A-CreERT2 Targeting Vector Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifin inducible; Targeting vector Mouse Nxph4 Mammalian Zeng
62372 pET-(-30)GFP-9xGGS-Cre-6xHis Cre fused to supernegatively charged GFP variant T7 Bacterial Liu
62657 pAYC iCre CAG Mammalian Ohtsuka
62730 CRE recombinase Cre T7 Bacterial Geijsen
62938 pET-(pos36)GFP-9xGGS-Cre-6xHis Cre fused to highly cationic GFP variant T7 Bacterial Liu
62939 pET-Cre-6xHis Cre-6xHis T7 Bacterial Liu
63704 pRetroX GFP T2A Cre GFP and Cre tight TRE Retroviral Foijer
64769 pTW040 Cre fused to the human Estrogen Binding Domain (EBD) TDH3 Yeast van Leeuwen
64770 pSS146 Cre fused to the human Estrogen Binding Domain (EBD) Tdh4 Yeast van Leeuwen
65727 pcDNA3.1-CMV-CFP;UBC-Cre25nt Cre with a 25 nucleotide extracellular vesicle targeting sequence and CFP UBC Mammalian van Rheenen
65795 pBBI iCre CMV Mammalian Ohtsuka
66690 Fuc-T2A-cre mCherry and Cre Lentiviral Luikart
66691 FUG-T2A-cre GFP and Cre Lentiviral Luikart
66692 pRubiC-T2A-cre mCherry and Cre expression in newborn neurons Retroviral Luikart
66693 pRubiG-T2A-cre GFP and Cre expression in newborn neurons Retroviral Luikart
67503 pF CAG luc-EGFP-cre puro Luciferase - EGFP- Cre fusion CAG Mammalian Stringer
68448 TOPO rtTA3-2A-Cre iRFP670, Cre, and GFP EFS Lentiviral Jacks
68468 Cas9-2A-Cre Cas9 and Cre CAG Mammalian Zhang
68477 pTRE:iRFP670-EFS:Cre-2A-GFP iRFP670, Cre, and GFP TRE Mammalian Jacks
68544 AAV-Cre-GFP Cre CMV AAV Nestler
68552 HRE:GFP-pGK:Cre Cre and hypoxia-responsive GFP reporter HRE Lentiviral Jacks
69570 pAAV-EF1a-N-CretrcintG Cre recombinase dependent on GFP (CRE-DOG) EF-1 alpha AAV Cepko
69571 pAAV-EF1a-C-CreintG Cre recombinase dependent on GFP (CRE-DOG) EF-1 alpha AAV Cepko
69572 pCAG-N-CretrcintG Cre recombinase dependent on GFP (CRE-DOG) CAG Mammalian Cepko
69573 pCAG-C-CreintG Cre recombinase dependent on GFP (CRE-DOG) CAG Mammalian Cepko
69916 pAAV.cTNT.iCre iCre and tdtomato Chicken cardiac troponin T AAV Pu
70120 pEMS2159 iCre with MCS for inserting promoter, WPRE none AAV Simpson
72255 pCDH-CB-iCre-P2A-tdTomato-T2A-Puro iCre and tdtomato CB Mammalian Oka
72256 pCDH-CB-copGFP-T2A-iCre copGFP and iCre CB Lentiviral Oka
72257 pCDH-CB-iCre iCre CB Lentiviral Oka
73350 pAdx-CMV-iCre-P2A-copGFP iCre and GFP CMV Adenoviral Oka
73351 pAdx-CMV-iCre-P2A-tdTomato iCre and tdTomato CMV Adenoviral Oka
73717 pMLS328 Cre eft-3 C. elegans Jorgensen
75267 pAAV-CIBN-CreC photo-activatable cre recombinase CAG AAV Bruchas
75268 pAAV-CRY2-CreN photo-activatable cre recombinase CAG AAV Bruchas
78398 pNXRVa-HACre Cre CMV Yeast Tomita
82587 pME-ERT2-Cre-ERT2 Tamoxifen-inducible Cre None Zebrafish Stankunas
82696 pCRE-iRFP670 Cre and iRFP670 PGK Mammalian Mullen
84032 pHD066 mCherry-Cre fusion and Venus Elastase Zebrafish Stainier
84033 pHD157 mCherry-Cre fusion and Venus fabp10 Zebrafish Stainier
85040 pK170.AAV-TRE-Cre-WPRE (Supernova) TRE-Cre based Supernova TRE AAV Iwasato
85577 pTC-CMV-Tet CreER expression and tetracyclin-dependent transgene/shRNA expression ApoE.HCR.hAAT Mammalian Ehmer
85578 pTC-ApoE-Tet CreER expression and tetracyclin-dependent transgene/shRNA expression ApoE.HCR.hAAT Mammalian Ehmer
85797 pSkipFlox split Cre Pfcrt P. falxiparum Spielmann
86641 pLenti-hSynapsin-Cre-WPRE Cre hSyn Lentiviral Wang
86794 pCL20c-MSCV-IRES-CRE Cre MSCV Mammalian Roussel
86805 pLV-EGFP-Cre EGFP-Cre fusion CMV Lentiviral Lasek
87682 AAV-U6gRNA1-U6gRNA2-TnT-Cre Cre and gRNAs cTnT AAV Pu
87694 pCAG-ERT2-PhoCl-Cre-PhoCl-ERT2 light-activated Cre cTnT Mammalian Campbell
89573 pCAG-iCre iCre CAG Mammalian Wong
89575 pCAG-VCre VCre CAG Mammalian Wong
91789 pRRlsinPGK_CREGFP_WPRE Cre-GFP fusion PGK Lentiviral Torok-Storb
99249 pVAX1/mTyr-Cre Cre Tyrosinase Mammalian Blank
101242 pSin wPGK-Cre low-efficiency Cre PGK Mammalian Nedivi
102989 pCAG-Cre-T2A-mRuby2 Cre and mRuby2 CAG Mammalian Scharffetter-Kochanek
104124 LZF40: hSyn-Cre Cre hSyn Lentiviral Cohen
105537 pENN.AAV.CMVs.Pl.Cre.rBG Cre CMV AAV Wilson
105540 pENN.AAV.hSyn.HI.eGFP-Cre.WPRE.SV40 EGFP-Cre fusion hSyn AAV Wilson
105545 pAAV.CMV.HI.eGFP-Cre.WPRE.SV40 EGFP-Cre fusion CMV AAV Wilson
105550 pAAV.GFAP.Cre.WPRE.hGH Cre GFAP AAV Wilson
105551 pENN.AAV.CamKII.HI.GFP-Cre.WPRE.SV40 GFP-Cre fusion CamKII AAV Wilson
105553 pENN.AAV.hSyn.Cre.WPRE.hGH Cre hSyn AAV Wilson
105555 pENN.AAV.hSyn.Cre.hGH Cre hSyn AAV Wilson
105558 pENN.AAV.CamKII 0.4.Cre.SV40 Cre CamKII AAV Wilson
105603 pAAV.GfaABC1D.PI.Cre.SV40 Cre GfaABC1D AAV Khakh
105869 pEMS1925 iCre-ERT2 Simpson
105870 pEMS1725 iCre-ERT2 Simpson
106368 pCMV-Tag2B-NCre N-terminal split-Cre CMV Mammalian Hirrlinger
106369 pCMV-Tag3B-CCre C-terminal split-Cre CMV Mammalian Hirrlinger
106370 pCMV-Tag2B-NCreERT2 N-terminal split-Cre-ERT2 CMV Mammalian Hirrlinger
106371 pCMV-Tag3B-ERT2CCre C-terminal split-Cre-ERT2 CMV Mammalian Hirrlinger
107312 AAV-hSyn-mCherry-P2A-Cre-WPRE mCherry and Cre; expressed in neurons hSyn AAV Yang
107313 AAV-aCamkII-mCherry-P2A-Cre-WPRE-BGH-polyA mCherry and Cre; expressed in excitatory neurons aCamKII AAV Yang
107738 pAAV-hSyn-Cre-P2A-dTomato Cre and dTomato hSyn AAV Larsen
107787 AAV.TBG.PI.Cre.rBG Cre TBG AAV Wilson
107788 AAV.rTH.PI.Cre.SV40 Cre rTH AAV Wilson
108454 mCherry-p2A-CreERT2-FRT-kan-FRT For in vitro transcription of Cre or to recombine into BAC SP6 Bacterial Mercader Huber
108543 pLV-EF1-Cre-PGK-Puro Cre EF-1 alpha Lentiviral Alcudia
108639 fli1aCreERT2 Cre-ERT2; endothelial reporter fli1a Zebrafish Mercader Huber
108995 pDM1488 Cre; NeoR act15 D. discoideum Kay
108996 pDM1489 Cre; HygroR act15 D. discoideum Kay
109378 LZF40: LZF40_Fsyn_Cre Cre hSyn Lentiviral Cohen
111150 Prrx1:TFPnls-T2a-Cre-Ert TFP and Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible. Expressed in limb connective tissue mouse Prrx1 Vertebrate Tanaka
111151 Col1A2:TFPnls-T2a-mErt-Cre-Ert TFP and Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible. Expressed in fibroblasts mouse Col1A2 Vertebrate Tanaka
111152 Col2a1:TFPnls-mErt-Cre-Ert TFP and Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible. Expressed in chondrocytes Xenopus Col2a1 Vertebrate Tanaka
111153 pGEMT-Pax7bait-P2a-GAP43-Cherry-T2a-mERt-Cre-Ert mCherry and Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible; Targeting vector for Pax7 Tanaka
111187 pBADZ-HisCre Cre; arabinose inducible. PBAD promoter Bacterial Richmond
112614 pVHC Venus and Cre-ERT2 with MCS for inserting promoter none Mammalian Heller
112615 pEHC Emerald and Cre-ERT2 with MCS for inserting promoter none Mammalian Heller
112616 pmTHC TFP and Cre-ERT2 with MCS for inserting promoter none Mammalian Heller
112617 ptdTHC tdTomato and Cre-ERT2 with MCS for inserting promoter none Mammalian Heller
112618 pCAG-VHC Venus, Cre-ERT2 CAG Mammalian Heller
112619 pCAG-EHC Emerald, Cre-ERT2 CAG Mammalian Heller
112620 pCAG-mTHC TFP, Cre-ERT2 CAG Mammalian Heller
112621 pCAG-tdTHC tdTomato, Cre-ERT2 CAG Mammalian Heller
112622 pVHC_PGKneoLox2DTA.2 Venus, Cre-ERT2, targeting vector with MCS for homology arms Mammalian Heller
112623 pEHC_PGKneoLox2DTA.2 Emerald, Cre-ERT2, targeting vector with MCS for homology arms Mammalian Heller
112624 pmTHC_PGKneoLox2DTA.2 TFP, Cre-ERT2, targeting vector with MCS for homology arms Mammalian Heller
112625 ptdTHC_PGKneoLox2DTA.2 tdTomato, Cre-ERT2, targeting vector with MCS for homology arms Mammalian Heller
113837 pCAGGS-mTagBFP2-T2A-iCre TagBFP, iCre CAG Mammalian Capecchi
113849 pCAGGS-pac-T2A-iCre iCre CAG Mammalian Capecchi
116879 CAG-Cremyc-2A-GFP GFP and Cre CAG Mammalian Lu
117148 Hiv7CMV-Cremyc-2A-GFP GFP and Cre CMV Lentiviral Lu
118029 pAAV-TRE-dDIO-vCre VCre TRE AAV Luo
119063 pBac(3xP3-gTc’v; Tc-hsp68:Cre) Cre Tribolium casteneum hsp68 T. castaneum (red flour beetle) Averof
119868 pGEM-NLS-Cre-2A-mCherry-FKF NLS-Cre, mCherry T7 Bacterial Sauka-Spengler
119971 GAG-CRErec GAG-Cre fusion; for the production of VLPs loaded with CRE protein CMV Mammalian Ohlmann
120279 014LP-pAAV-ANF-657- Cre-pA Cre; for atrial-specific expression ANF AAV Wehrens
121675 pAAV-EF1a-fDIO-Cre Cre EF-1 alpha AAV Engel
122518 pAAV-Syn-iCre iCre AAV Ritola
122960 pcDNA3.1_PA-Cre photo-activatable Cre recombinase CMV Mammalian Sato
122961 pcDNA3.1_PA-Cre-Y324F Catalytically inactive PA-Cre CMV Mammalian Sato
123128 pET-His-Cre 6xHis-Cre T7 Bacterial Liu
123131 pET-His-VCre 6xHis-VCre T7 Bacterial Liu
123133 pCMV-Cre Cre CMV Mammalian Liu
124183 KA1153_pPBCAG-MerCreMer-IN Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible CAG Mammalian Scholer
124184 KA1158_pPBCAG-MerCreMer-IZ Cre-ERT2 - Tamoxifen inducible CAG Mammalian Scholer
125574 pCAG-Cre Cre CAG Mammalian Imai
125577 pCAG-iCre iCre CAG Mammalian Imai
125821 pCAGGS-pac-T2A-iCre (v2) iCre and PuroR CAG Mammalian Capecchi
125822 pCAGGS-mTagBFP2-T2A-iCre (v2) TagBFP, iCre CAG Mammalian Capecchi
126006 pAAV2-ProC3-Cre/mCherry Cre and mCherry ProC3 AAV Roska
129419 pCag FlpO-2A-Cre EV FlpO-2A-Cre CAG Mammalian Breunig
131780 pCS2+PIF6CreN CreLite - Red light-inducible Cre; N terminus Cre fused to PIF6 CMV Mammalian, Zebrafish Eisenhoffer
131781 pCS2+PhyBΔCreC CreLite - Red light-inducible Cre; C terminus Cre fused to PhyBdelta CMV Mammalian, Zebrafish Eisenhoffer
131782 pME-CreLite CreLite system components, PhyBdeltaCreC and PIF6CreN, in middle entry vector (Tol2 kit) Zebrafish Eisenhoffer
131783 pTol2-CreLite CreLite; Tol2 destination vector with mTagBFP2 Zebrafish Eisenhoffer
131785 pAAV-CreLite CreLite system components, PhyBdeltaCreC and PIF6CreN, in AAV donor/transfer vector Cbh AAV Eisenhoffer
131786 pLenti-CreLite CreLite system components, PhyBdeltaCreC and PIF6CreN, in lentiviral vector Cbh Lentiviral Eisenhoffer
132551 AAV-U6-gRNA-TnT-Cre Cre Chicken cardiac troponin T AAV Pu
134404 pBbE5a-Opto-Cre-Vvd Cre recombinase split with Vivid photodimers lacUV5 Bacterial Dunlop
135217 pDEST mfap4:icre-p2a-tomato iCre and tdTomato mfap4 Zebrafish Tobin

loxP (floxed) Constructs

These constructs allow for Cre-regulated gene expression. Depending on the construct, Cre may activate or repress gene expression. Common construct types include:

  • Cre-dependent Gene Expression: Placing a stop codon with loxP sites on either side (often called a “lox-stop-lox” or “LSL” cassette) upstream of a gene of interest will prevent gene expression in the absence of Cre. In the presence of Cre, the stop codon is excised, and gene expression proceeds.
  • Cre-dependent Gene Knockout: Conversely, putting the loxP sites on either side of a gene (called “floxing”, for “flanked by loxP”), will permit gene expression until Cre is present, at which time the gene will be disrupted or deleted.
  • Cre-dependent shRNA Expression: Cre-lox can be used to turn shRNA constructs on or off. In floxed-shRNA constructs, Cre can excise the shRNA to return gene expression to physiological levels. In lox-STOP-lox shRNA constructs, Cre expression promotes shRNA expression.
  • Gene Switch: These constructs contain two genes of interest, Genes A and B. When Cre is absent, only Gene A is translated correctly. Cre expression excises Gene A and alters the reading frame to allow in-frame translation of Gene B.
  • FLEx Switch: This system allows scientists to utilize recombination elements such as Cre to turn off the expression of one gene while simultaneously turning on another. The FLEx switch system takes advantage of the orientation specificity of Cre and the different types of target sites available, both mutant and wild type. The ability to manipulate the number, orientation, and type of target sites that flox your genes of interest makes FLEx switch a powerful experimental tool. For more information on FLEx switch and what you can do with it read Addgene's Blog on FLEx Vectors.

Note: Through a partnership with genOway, Addgene is able to distribute materials containing FLEx technology. Read the genOway press release for more information.

Empty backbones to regulate your gene of interest:

ID Plasmid Description Expression System PI
11578 pSico Cre activates shRNA expression, removal of EGFP; See also similar plasmids pSico PGK GFP and pSico PGK puro Lentiviral Jacks
11579 pSicoR Cre turns off shRNA expression, removal of EGFP; See also similar plasmids pSicoR PGK puro, pSicoR-Ef1a-mCh-Puro, pSicoR-Ef1a-mCh and pSicoR-mCh-empty Lentiviral Jacks
11584 Lox-Stop-Lox TOPO Cre activates gene of interest by removing Stop sequences; Puro selection. See plasmid 35688 for Hygro selection. Mammalian Jacks
11925 pBS302 Cre activates gene of interest by removing Stop sequences. Can be used for injection into fertilized zygotes Mammalian Sauer
21270 pBigT Cre activates gene of interest by removing neoR and stop sequence; used for making transgenic mice. Plasmid 15037 also contains IRES-EGFP Mammalian Costantini
32702 pMSCV-loxp-dsRed-loxp-eGFP-Puro-WPRE Cre activates your gene fused to eGFP, removes dsRed. See article for other similar plasmids. Retroviral Clevers
15912 CTV Cre activates gene of interest, removes Neo and stop cassette; Contains flanking arms for Rosa26 integration; See similar plasmid 11739 Mouse Targeting Rajewsky
11072 p079 pPNT6 Cre activates gene of interest, removes Neo cassette. Used in gene targeting. Mouse Targeting Shivdasani
18925 pJ241-FLEX FLEX switch empty backbone Sternson
38042 pAAV-CA-FLEX Cre activates gene of interest, using 4 mutated lox sites AAV Uchida

Cre Reporters and Tools

In this subtype of loxP plasmids, reporter genes indicate which cells have undergone Cre recombination. These plasmids can be useful for lineage tracing, evaluating infection/transfection efficiency, selecting desired clones, and making transgenic mice.

ID Plasmid/Article Description Expression System PI
See article Brainbow constructs Cre-loxP recombination is used to create a stochastic choice of expression among fluorescent proteins, resulting in the indelible marking of mouse neurons with multiple distinct colors Mammalian Sanes
See article Multibow constructs Multibow uses a binary code in which reporters are initially OFF and then probabilistically ON or OFF following Cre recombination to maximize label diversity Mammalian Megason
13769 pCALNL-DsRed Cre dependent DsRed expression Mammalian Cepko
13770 pCALNL-GFP Cre dependent GFP expression Mammalian Cepko
8389 p212 pCMV-EGFP/RFP EGFP-dsRed gene switch plasmid Mammalian Green
22799 Ai9 Rosa26 targeting vector, Cre dependent tdtomato expression. See article for more colors. Mammalian Zeng
24334 hsp70l-loxP-mCherry-STOP-loxP-H2B-GFP_cryaa-cerulean Heat-inducible reporter with Cre dependent H2B-RFP expression Zebrafish Stainier
51269 pCAG-loxPSTOPloxP-ZsGreen Cre dependent ZsGreen expression Mammalian Pelczar
62732 Cre Reporter DsRED and EGFP Cre recombinase reporter Lentiviral Geijsen
65726 pLV-CMV-LoxP-DsRed-LoxP-eGFP Switches from DsRed to eGFP expression upon the presence of Cre Lentiviral van Rheenen
28304 pAAV-FLEX-GFP Cre dependent GFP expression AAV Boyden
37402 Cre Stoplight 2.4 Zsgreen is expressed in cells without Cre, mCherry is expressed with Cre Mammalian Hughes
16422 betaRBPIG Double fluorescent, double selectable cre/loxP reporter Mammalian Hescheler
12463 p231 pCMVe-betaAc-STOP-luc Cre dependent luciferase expression Mammalian Green
32145 pJFRC172-10XUAS-loxP>-dSTOP-loxP>-myr::GFP Cre dependent myr-GFP expression Insect Rubin
51503 AAV pCAG-FLEX-tdTomato-WPRE Cre dependent TdTomato expression AAV Zeng
60877 pMAZe Reporter construct for lineage tracing and mosaic analysis in zebrafish Zebrafish Lewis

Additional Resources

  • Cre-dependent Cas9: Cre-dependent Cas9 can be knocked in to a mouse at the Rosa26 locus to facilitate Cas9 mediated genome editing in multiple tissues.
  • FLP/FRT: Alternative recombinase system for the control of gene expression. Flp recombinase recognizes FRT sites. Flp binding to these sites can result in excision, inversion or translocation depending on the orientation of the FRT sites.
  • Addgene Blog Advanced Uses of Cre-lox and Flp-FRT - A Neuroscientist’s View


  • Lakso M, Sauer B, Mulder KL, Westphal H. 1992. Targeted Oncogene Activation by Site-Specific Recombination in Transgenic Mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci. Jul 15;89(14):6232-6. PubMed.
  • Matsuda T, Cepko CL. 2007. Controlled Expression of Transgenes Introduced by In Vivo Electroporation. Proc Natl Acad Sci. Jan 16;104(3):1027-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0610155104. Epub 2007 Jan 5. PubMed.
  • Sauer B, Henderson N. 1988. Site-Specific DNA Recombination in Mammalian Cells by the Cre Recombinase of Bacteriophage P1. Proc Natl Acad Sci. Jul;85(14):5166-70. PubMed.
  • Sternberg N, Hamilton D. 1981. Bacteriophage P1 Site-Specific Recombination. I. Recombination Between loxP Sites. J Mol Biol. Aug 25;1504(4):467-86. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(81)90375-2. PubMed.
  • Ventura A, Meissner A, Jaenisch R, Jacks T. 2004. Cre-lox-Regulated Conditional RNA Interference from Transgenes. Proc Natl Acad Sci. Jul 13;101(28):10380-5. doi:10.1073/pnas.0403954101. Epub 2004 Jul 6. PubMed.

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