Transgenic frogs expressing the highly fluorescent protein venus under the control of a strong mammalian promoter suitable for monitoring living cells



To easily monitor living cells and organisms, we have created a transgenic Xenopus line expressing Venus, a brighter variant of yellow fluorescent protein, under the control of the CMV enhancer/chicken β-actin (CAG) promoter. The established line exhibited high fluorescent intensity not only in most tissues of tadpoles to adult frogs but also in germ cells of both sexes, which enabled three-dimensional imaging of fluorescing organs from images of the serial slices of the transgenic animals. Furthermore, by using this transgenic line, we generated chimeric animals by brain implantation and importantly, we found that the brain grafts survived and expressed Venus in recipients after development, highlighting the boundary between fluorescent and nonfluorescent areas in live animals. Thus, Venus-expressing transgenic frogs, tadpoles, and embryos would facilitate their use in many applications, including the tracing of the fluorescent cells after tissue/organ transplantation. Developmental Dynamics 233:562–569, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.