The aim of this study was to seek a promoter, transactivated selectively in renal cells in vivo by using transgenic (tg) mouse technology. We generated two kinds of tg mouse lines carrying a green fluorescence protein (GFP) cDNA driven either by cytomegalovirus enhancer and beta-actin/beta-globin promoter (CX-GFP) or by elongation factor 1alpha promoter (EF-GFP), and investigated the expression of GFP in the kidney. Microscopic examination of the renal tissues in CX-GFP-tg mice revealed that GFP was expressed only in glomeruli, mainly epithelial cells, but not in tubules, arteries and interstitium. Moreover, in situ hybridization demonstrated that GFP mRNA expression was localized in the glomerular cells. In contrast, GFP was not detectable in the kidney in any of the lines of EF-GFP-tg mouse. To exclude the possible involvement of the GFP cDNA as an enhancer, we constructed tg mice carrying the CX promoter driving a human CD4 cDNA. It was confirmed that the expression patterns of human CD4 in the kidney were quite similar to those of GFP in the kidney of CX-GFP-tg mice. These results strongly suggest that CX promoter could be transactivated in glomerular epithelial cells in vivo.