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The Aicda gene encodes Activation-Induced cytidine Deaminase (AID), an enzyme essential for remodeling antibody genes in mature B lymphocytes. AID is also responsible for DNA damage at oncogenes, leading to their mutation and cancer-associated chromosome translocation in lymphoma. We used fate mapping and AID(GFP) reporter mice to determine if AID expression in the mouse extends beyond lymphocytes. We discovered that AID(cre) tags a small fraction of non-lymphoid cells starting at 10.5 days post conception (dpc), and that AID(GFP+) cells are detectable at dpc 11.5 and 12.5. Embryonic cells are tagged by AID(cre) in the submandibular region, where conditional deletion of the tumor suppressor PTEN causes squamous papillomas. AID(cre) also tags non-lymphoid cells in the embryonic central nervous system. Finally, in the adult mouse brain, AID(cre) marks a small fraction of diverse neurons and distinct neuronal populations, including pyramidal cells in cortical layer IV.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Aging, Animals, Brain, Cell Lineage, Cytidine Deaminase, Embryonic Development, Integrases, Lymphocytes, Mice, PTEN Phosphohydrolase, Papilloma, Skin