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Journal Article

Cell type–specific manipulation with GFP-dependent Cre recombinase


There are many transgenic GFP reporter lines that allow the visualization of specific populations of cells. Using such lines for functional studies requires a method that transforms GFP into a molecule that enables genetic manipulation. We developed a method that exploits GFP for gene manipulation, Cre recombinase dependent on GFP (CRE-DOG), a split component system that uses GFP and its derivatives to directly induce Cre/loxPrecombination. Using plasmid electroporation and AAV viral vectors, we delivered CRE-DOG to multiple GFP mouse lines, which led to effective recombination selectively in GFP-labeled cells. Furthermore, CRE-DOG enabled optogenetic control of these neurons. Beyond providing a new set of tools for manipulation of gene expression selectively in GFP+ cells, we found that GFP can be used to reconstitute the activity of a protein not known to have a modular structure, suggesting that this strategy might be applicable to a wide range of proteins.

Jonathan C Y Tang
Stephanie Rudolph
Onkar S Dhande
Victoria E Abraira
Seungwon Choi
Sylvain W Lapan
Iain R Drew
Eugene Drokhlyansky
Andrew D Huberman
Wade G Regehr
Constance L Cepko
Journal Name
Nature Neuroscience
Publication Date
August 10, 2015