Published: September 19th, 2018
Here, we present a method for generating tissue-specific binary transcription systems in Drosophila by replacing the first coding exon of genes with transcription drivers. The CRISPR/Cas9-based method places a transactivator sequence under the endogenous regulation of a replaced gene, and consequently facilitates transctivator expression exclusively in gene-specific spatiotemporal patterns.
Binary transcription systems are powerful genetic tools widely used for visualizing and manipulating cell fate and gene expression in specific groups of cells or tissues in model organisms. These systems contain two components as separate transgenic lines. A driver line expresses a transcriptional activator under the control of tissue-specific promoters/enhancers, and a reporter/effector line harbors a target gene placed downstream to the binding site of the transcription activator. Animals harboring both components induce tissue-specific transactivation of a target gene expression. Precise spatiotemporal expression of the gene in targeted tissues is critical for unbiased interpretation of cell/gene activity. Therefore, developing a method for generating exclusive cell/tissue-specific driver lines is essential. Here we present a method to generate highly tissue-specific targeted expression system by employing a "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat/CRISPR-associated" (CRISPR/Cas)-based genome editing technique. In this method, the endonuclease Cas9 is targeted by two chimeric guide RNAs (gRNA) to specific sites in the first coding exon of a gene in the Drosophila genome to create double-strand breaks (DSB). Subsequently, using an exogenous donor plasmid containing the transactivator sequence, the cell-autonomous repair machinery enables homology-directed repair (HDR) of the DSB, resulting in precise deletion and replacement of the exon with the transactivator sequence. The knocked-in transactivator is expressed exclusively in cells where the cis-regulatory elements of the replaced gene are functional. The detailed step-by-step protocol presented here for generating a binary transcriptional driver expressed in Drosophila fgf/branchless-producing epithelial/neuronal cells can be adopted for any gene- or tissue-specific expression.
The genetic toolbox for targeted gene expression has been well developed in Drosophila, making it one of the best model systems to investigate the function of genes involved in a wide variety of cellular processes. Binary expression systems, such as yeast Gal4/UAS (upstream activation sequence), was first adopted for tissue-specific enhancer trapping and gene misexpression in the Drosophila genetic model1 (Figure 1). This system facilitated the development of a large number of techniques such as spatiotemporal regulation of gene overexpression, misexpression, knockout in selected groups o....
1. Designing and Constructing the gRNA Expression Vector
This protocol was successfully used to generate a targeted binary expression reporter system specific for bnl expressing cells5. The cis-regulatory elements (CREs) that control complex spatiotemporal bnl expression are not characterized. Therefore, to achieve spatiotemporal expression under the control of the endogenous bnl regulatory sequence, only the first coding exon of bnl was designed to be replaced with the sequen.......
Traditionally, Drosophila enhancer traps were generated by two different methods. One of the ways includes random insertion of a driver (eg., Gal4) sequence in the genome by transposition (e.g., P-element transposition)1 . Alternatively, the driver sequences can be placed under the transcriptional control of a putative enhancer/promoter region in a plasmid construct, which would then be integrated into an ectopic site of the genome3,
We thank Dr. F. Port, Dr. K. O'Connor-Giles, and Dr. S. Feng for discussions on CRISPR strategy; Dr. T.B. Kornberg, and the Bloomington Stock Center for reagents; UMD imaging core facility; and funding from NIH: R00HL114867 and R35GM124878 to SR.....
|Gentrox (Genesee Scientific)
|UltraPure DNase/RNase-Free Water
|PureLink HiPure Plasmid Maxipep kits
|DNA template and vector for gRNA
|KAPA HiFi Hot Start- (Kapa Biosystems)
|Q5-high fidelity Taq
|Gibson Assembly Master Mix
|DNA template for LexA amplification
|2x PCR PreMix, with dye (red)
|Gel elution kit
|Zymo Research (Genesee Scientific)
|Direct-zol RNA purification kits
|Zymo Research (Genesee Scientific)
|OneTaq One-Step RT-PCR Kit
|Confocal Microscope SP5X
|Imaging expression pattern
|Microtube homogenizing pestles
|genomic DNA isolation
Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved