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Dev Cell. 2012 Oct 16;23(4):681-90. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.08.009. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

A transgenic mouse marking live replicating cells reveals in vivo transcriptional program of proliferation.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, The Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


Most adult mammalian tissues are quiescent, with rare cell divisions serving to maintain homeostasis. At present, the isolation and study of replicating cells from their in vivo niche typically involves immunostaining for intracellular markers of proliferation, causing the loss of sensitive biological material. We describe a transgenic mouse strain, expressing a CyclinB1-GFP fusion reporter, that marks replicating cells in the S/G2/M phases of the cell cycle. Using flow cytometry, we isolate live replicating cells from the liver and compare their transcriptome to that of quiescent cells to reveal gene expression programs associated with cell proliferation in vivo. We find that replicating hepatocytes have reduced expression of genes characteristic of liver differentiation. This reporter system provides a powerful platform for gene expression and metabolic and functional studies of replicating cells in their in vivo niche.

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