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Keywords:

  • gene trapping;
  • enhancer trapping;
  • transposon;
  • Tol2;
  • transgenic fish

Targeted gene expression by the Gal4-UAS system is a powerful methodology for analyzing function of genes and cells in vivo and has been extensively used in genetic studies in Drosophila. On the other hand, the Gal4-UAS system had not been applied effectively to vertebrate systems for a long time mainly due to the lack of an efficient transgenesis method. Recently, a highly efficient transgenesis method using the medaka fish Tol2 transposable element was developed in zebrafish. Taking advantage of the Tol2 transposon system, we and other groups developed the Gal4 gene trap and enhancer trap methods and established various transgenic fish expressing Gal4 in specific cells. By crossing such Gal4 lines with transgenic fish lines harboring various reporter genes and effector genes downstream of UAS (upstream activating sequence), specific cells can be visualized and manipulated in vivo by targeted gene expression. Thus, the Gal4 gene trap and enhancer trap approaches together with various UAS lines should be important tools for investigating roles of genes and cells in vertebrates.