Technology ID

New Fluorescent Indicator Alleles in Mice that Expand the Power of Recombinase-based Labeling to Uncover Cellular Diversity

Lead Inventor
Jensen, Patricia (NIEHS)
Plummer, Nicholas (NIEHS)
Research Materials
Research Products
Animal Models
Lead IC

This technology includes a series of recombinase responsive indicator alleles in genetically modified laboratory mice which uniquely permit non-invasive labeling of cells defined by the overlap of up to three distinct gene expression domains. In response to any combination of Cre, Flp and Dre recombinases, these alleles express high levels of eGFP and/or tdTomato that allow the visualization of cells in live and fixed tissue, including samples processed using modern tissue clearing techniques. Together, these features provide experimental access to cell populations at unprecedented resolution and facilitate analysis of their anatomical, molecular, and physiological properties.

Commercial Applications
These fluorescent indicator alleles allow permanent fluorescent labeling of genetically defined cell populations in laboratory mice, and likely will primarily be used in basic research. However, they may be useful to companies performing testing of new chemical compounds or pharmaceuticals, because they permit rapid visual inspection of the labeled cells in embryos and adult mice. Thus, it would be easy to test whether a chemical had any effect on survival, proliferation, or migration of a labeled cell population. The labeled cells can be isolated by a variety of procedures (e.g. fluorescence assisted cell sorting, manual dissection) and cultured for further study.

Competitive Advantages
The unique advantages of these six recombinase-responsive fluorescent indicator alleles are:
  • Together, these six alleles permit fluorescent labeling driven by any combination of Cre, Flp, or Dre recombinase expression.
  • RC::RFLTG is the only fluorescent indicator allele that is capable of labeling cell populations defined by the overlap of three distinct gene expression domains.
  • RC::RFLTG (Dre/Flp/Cre responsive), RC::RLTG (Dre/Cre responsive), and RC::FLTG (Flp/Cre responsive) each encode two fluorescent proteins that both fill cellular processes, allowing the complete architecture of two cell populations to be visualized in the same animal. In the nervous system, these alleles permit simultaneous tracing of axons from two distinct neuronal subpopulations.
Licensing Contact:
Choudhry, Vidita