- Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) catalyzes the first committed reaction in DNA synthesis. Most of what we know about RNR regulation comes from studies with cultured cells and with purified proteins. In this study, Tran et al. use Cre-Lox technology to inactivate RNR large subunit expression in heart and skeletal muscle of mouse embryos. Analysis of these mutants paints a picture of dNTP regulation in whole animals quite different from that seen in studies of purified proteins and cultured cells.