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Diao, F., Ironfield, H., Luan, H., Diao, F., Shropshire, W.C., Ewer, J., Marr, E., Potter, C.J., Landgraf, M., White, B.H. (2015). Plug-and-Play Genetic Access to Drosophila Cell Types using Exchangeable Exon Cassettes.  Cell Rep. 10(8): 1410--1421.
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Research paper

Genetically encoded effectors are important tools for probing cellular function in living animals, but improved methods for directing their expression to specific cell types are required. Here, we introduce a simple, versatile method for achieving cell-type-specific expression of transgenes that leverages the untapped potential of "coding introns" (i.e., introns between coding exons). Our method couples the expression of a transgene to that of a native gene expressed in the cells of interest using intronically inserted "plug-and-play" cassettes (called "Trojan exons") that carry a splice acceptor site followed by the coding sequences of T2A peptide and an effector transgene. We demonstrate the efficacy of this approach in Drosophila using lines containing suitable MiMIC (Minos-mediated integration cassette) transposons and a palette of Trojan exons capable of expressing a range of commonly used transcription factors. We also introduce an exchangeable, MiMIC-like Trojan exon construct that can be targeted to coding introns using the Crispr/Cas system.

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Obtained with permission from Cell Press.
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PubMed Central ID
PMC4373654 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Related Publication(s)
Personal communication to FlyBase

Transgenic donor lines containing Trojan cassettes.
White, 2015.5.28, Transgenic donor lines containing Trojan cassettes. [FBrf0228445]

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    Cell Rep.
    Cell reports
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (91)
    Genes (25)
    Molecular Constructs (31)
    Natural transposons (2)
    Insertions (58)
    Experimental Tools (15)
    Transgenic Constructs (39)
    Transcripts (9)