A method of gene targeting that allows the inducible inactivation of a target gene in mice is presented. The method uses an interferon-responsive promoter to control the expression of Cre recombinase. Here, Cre was used to delete a segment of the DNA polymerase beta gene flanked by IoxP recombinase recognition sites. Deletion was complete in liver and nearly complete in lymphocytes within a few days, whereas partial deletion was obtained in other tissues. This method can be used for the inducible inactivation of any other gene in vivo.