The biological activity of mouse κ opioid receptor (KOR) gene promoter was examined in transgenic mice using a β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter strategy for the first time. A lacZ cDNA was inserted at the 5th amino acid in the coding region of a mouse KOR genomic segment containing 3 kb of the 5' regulatory region, to generate a Kor-lacZ fusion gene which was then used to generate transgenic mice. The expression of transgene was demonstrated at the RNA level by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and at the protein level by in situ lacZ enzyme assay. From studying three independent transgenic mouse lines that express this transgene, it is concluded that Kor-lacZ expression begins at embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5) and increases in several brain areas and neural tube as embryos develop. At E12.5 and E13.5, Kor-lacZ expression is found primarily in the mantle layer of midbrain, hindbrain and medulla oblongata, cranial ganglion and vagus nerve. At E15.5 and E17.5, the transgene is expressed in eye, ear, neopallial cortex, caudate putamen, lateral ventricle, thalamus, hypothalamus and pons. Therefore, the 3 kb 5' regulatory sequence of the mouse KOR gene is functional in transgenic animals and directs a specific expression pattern recapitulating that of the endogenous KOR gene expression during developmental stages. However, in adult animals, this transgene is only expressed in the brain, indicating that the regulatory information for peripheral expression in the adult is not encoded within this 3 kb upstream sequence. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by NIH grants DA11190, DA11806, DA70554 and DA00564. We thank the core B of a program project DA08131 for providing the oligos.
- Gene expression
- Kappa opioid receptor
- Transgenic mouse