We have developed a method of marking of mouse cells by means of transfection of a foreign gene. The transgene chosen here was the plasmid pEF321CAT which contains the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene linked to the promoter region of the human polypeptide chain elongation factor 1 alpha (hEF1 alpha) gene. Evaluation of the plasmid pEF321CAT as a cellular marker for mouse cells involved intensive examination of a transgenic mouse carrying pEF321CAT. The CAT gene was expressed in all tissues examined, demonstrating that the hEF1 alpha promoter was active in a wide range of mouse cells. The plasmid itself did not exert any harmful effect on the normal development of mice, and the CAT activity was immunohistologically detectable on sectioned tissues by the use of anti-CAT serum. When the plasmid was transferred into embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells, the CAT gene was also found to be expressed constantly irrespective of their differentiation. These results demonstrated that the plasmid pEF321CAT can be used as a reliable and feasible cellular marker that would distinguish unequivocally the cells of each of genotype in chimeric tissues.