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Keywords:

  • transposon;
  • EGFP;
  • mCherry;
  • EMCV IRES;
  • bicistronic;
  • nuclear localization signal

Abstract

Transgenesis is an important tool for assessing gene function. In zebrafish, transgenesis has suffered from three problems: the labor of building complex expression constructs using conventional subcloning; low transgenesis efficiency, leading to mosaicism in transient transgenics and infrequent germline incorporation; and difficulty in identifying germline integrations unless using a fluorescent marker transgene. The Tol2kit system uses site-specific recombination-based cloning (multisite Gateway technology) to allow quick, modular assembly of [promoter]–[coding sequence]–[3′ tag] constructs in a Tol2 transposon backbone. It includes a destination vector with a cmlc2:EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) transgenesis marker and a variety of widely useful entry clones, including hsp70 and beta-actin promoters; cytoplasmic, nuclear, and membrane-localized fluorescent proteins; and internal ribosome entry sequence–driven EGFP cassettes for bicistronic expression. The Tol2kit greatly facilitates zebrafish transgenesis, simplifies the sharing of clones, and enables large-scale projects testing the functions of libraries of regulatory or coding sequences. Developmental Dynamics 236:3088–3099, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.