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J Biochem. 1993 Mar;113(3):343-9.

An efficient gene-trap method using poly A trap vectors and characterization of gene-trap events.

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Department of Developmental Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine.


New trap vectors (U1 and U2) have been developed to trap genes in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells. The polyA addition signal of the neomycin phosphotransferase II (neo) gene was removed from these vectors so that they needed to trap an endogenous polyA signal for expression of the neo gene. The frequency of gene-trap events of these vectors was about five times higher than with the vector containing the polyA signal, and only one copy of the trap vector was integrated in most cases. Four out of five 5'-flanking regions of the integrated vector in ES cell lines were found to be novel endogenous promoters, suggesting that this method is efficient for trapping genes in ES cells. In two cases analyzed, large deletions or rearrangements spanning more than 10 kb were found in the 3'-flanking region of the trap vector introduced by electroporation. This result suggests that phenotypes observed in homozygotes with a mutated allele could be due to the disruption of a gene adjacent to the trapped gene, but not of the trapped gene.

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