Evaluation of TRAP-sequencing technology with a versatile conditional mouse model

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(2):e14. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt995. Epub 2013 Oct 27.


Gene expression profiling of various cell lineages has provided invaluable insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular development and differentiation. However, in vivo molecular profiling of rare and interspersed cell populations, such as endothelial cells, has remained challenging. We have generated a versatile floxed translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) mouse model, mCherryTRAP, for Cre-dependent translational profiling of distinct cell lineages from intact tissues. To identify cell type-specific transcripts using TRAP, the data have to be filtered to remove both background transcripts not expressed in the profiled cell type and transcripts expressed in all cell populations of the tissue/organ. Filtering has previously been achieved using transcribed RNA from the tissue/organ. Using the mCherryTRAP model, we demonstrate extensive differential expression of RNAs between the translatome and transcriptome of embryonic brains and kidneys. We evaluate the implications of these data for TRAP studies of abundant and rare cell populations. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of the technology to study organ-specific endothelial cell differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / analysis
  • Red Fluorescent Protein
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE51619