Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Transgenic Mouse Strain for Visualization of Epithelial Cells during Renal Development

Technology #2986

“Lead Inventor: Franklin D. Costantini, Ph.D.

Transgenic Visualization Techniques for Individual Cell Study in Renal Morphogenesis Although many of the genes involved in renal branching morphogenesis have been identified, little is known about the cellular behaviors that are actually controlled by these genes. Transgenic visualization techniques have been developed that are useful for studying renal morphogenesis at the tissue level; however, there is a need for techniques that can be used to study the behavior and shapes of individual cells during development.

Transgenic Mouse Strain for Visualizing Epithelial Cell Properties During Ureteric Bud Morphogenesis The technology is a transgenic mouse strain for visualizing epithelial cell shape and arrangement during ureteric bud morphogenesis. The mouse expresses myr-Venus, an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) that targets cell membranes, under the control of the Hoxb7 promoter. Since this promoter is expressed by certain epithelial cells of the developing excretory system, the technology can be used to visualize the membranes of those cells with confocal microscopy.

Applications: • The technology can be used to study the shapes and organization of epithelial cells in the Wolffian ducts and ureteric buds during renal development. Cells in both live and fixed kidneys can be imaged using the technology.

Advantages: • In contrast to mouse strains that use Hoxb7 to drive expression of fluorescent reporters such as EGFP that label the cytoplasm, the technology enables the visualization of epithelial cell membranes. This makes it possible to focus on specific structures within developing organs during embryogenesis.

Patent Status: Copyright/Material

Licensing Status: Available for Sponsored Research Support

Publications: A transgenic mouse that reveals cell shape and arrangement during ureteric bud branching, X. Chi, A.K., Hadjantonakis, Z. Wu, D. Hyink, and F. Costantini, Genesis, Vol. 47, No. 2, Feb. 2009, pp. 61-66.

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