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Keywords:

  • fate mapping;
  • lineage tracing;
  • photoconvertible fluorescent protein;
  • KikGR;
  • explant culture

Abstract

A transgenic mouse line named iUBC-KikGR was generated, which expresses the photoconvertible fluorescent protein Kikume Green-Red (KikGR) under the control of the human Ubiquitin C promoter. KikGR is natively a green fluorophore, which can be converted into a red fluorophore upon exposure to UV light. KikGR is expressed broadly throughout transgenic embryos from the two-cell stage onward and in the adult. Specificity of photoconversion can range from the entire embryo to a region of an organ, to a few individual cells, depending on the needs of the experimenter. Cell movements, tissue reorganization, and migration can then be observed in real time by culturing the tissue of interest as an explant on the microscope stage. The iUBC-KikGR transgenic line represents a singular genetic reagent, which can be used for fate mapping, lineage tracing, and live visualization of cell behaviors and tissue movements in multiple organs at multiple time points. genesis 49:591–598, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.