Improved methods for manipulating and analyzing gene function have provided a better understanding of how genes work during organ development and disease. Inducible functional genetic mosaics can be extraordinarily useful in the study of biological systems; however, this experimental approach is still rarely used in vertebrates. This is mainly due to technical difficulties in the assembly of large DNA constructs carrying multiple genes and regulatory elements and their targeting to the genome. In addition, mosaic phenotypic analysis, unlike classical single gene-function analysis, requires clear labeling and detection of multiple cell clones in the same tissue. Here, we describe several methods for the rapid generation of transgenic or gene-targeted mice and embryonic stem (ES) cell lines containing all the necessary elements for inducible, fluorescent, and functional genetic mosaic (ifgMosaic) analysis. This technology enables the interrogation of multiple and combinatorial gene function with high temporal and cellular resolution.
Keywords: Brainbow; Confetti; Notch; Rosa26; VEGF; angiogenesis; epistasis; mosaic; transgenesis.
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