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PLoS One. January 1, 2013; 8 (12): e82629.

An inducible expression system to measure rhodopsin transport in transgenic Xenopus rod outer segments.

Zhuo X , Haeri M , Solessio E , Knox BE .

We developed an inducible transgene expression system in Xenopus rod photoreceptors. Using a transgene containing mCherry fused to the carboxyl terminus of rhodopsin (Rho-mCherry), we characterized the displacement of rhodopsin (Rho) from the base to the tip of rod outer segment (OS) membranes. Quantitative confocal imaging of live rods showed very tight regulation of Rho-mCherry expression, with undetectable expression in the absence of dexamethasone (Dex) and an average of 16.5 µM of Rho-mCherry peak concentration after induction for several days (equivalent to >150-fold increase). Using repetitive inductions, we found the axial rate of disk displacement to be 1.0 µm/day for tadpoles at 20 °C in a 12 h dark /12 h light lighting cycle. The average distance to peak following Dex addition was 3.2 µm, which is equivalent to ~3 days. Rods treated for longer times showed more variable expression patterns, with most showing a reduction in Rho-mCherry concentration after 3 days. Using a simple model, we find that stochastic variation in transgene expression can account for the shape of the induction response.

PubMed ID: 24349323
PMC ID: PMC3857830
Article link: PLoS One.
Grant support: EY-11256 NEI NIH HHS , EY-12975 NEI NIH HHS

Genes referenced: dnai1 rho rho.2

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