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Somat Cell Mol Genet. 1997 Sep;23(5):325-40.

Applications of green fluorescent protein as a marker of retroviral vectors.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago 60607-7170, USA.


The Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) of Aequorea victoria is used as a vital fluorescent tag for the detection and isolation of genetically modified cells. Several modified variants of GFP were tested as marker genes in retroviral vectors containing different backbones and promoter combinations. Constructs allowing for reliable detection of GFP fluorescence and the expression of a cotransduced gene from a strong promoter were identified. Cells harboring such constructs are detectable by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and multi-well fluorescence reading. GFP expression in transduced cells is stable both in vitro and in vivo, and long-term dynamics of GFP-positive fractions in a mixed population can be used to monitor the biological effects of a cotransduced gene. Selection of cells with the highest GFP fluorescence enriches for multiply infected cells. The use of different GFP variants allows one to monitor simultaneously two cell populations transduced with vectors carrying GFPs that differ in their fluorescence intensity or spectral properties and to identify doubly transduced cells. In addition, transcription of an inducible promoter positioned in the opposite orientation to GFP can be monitored by the inhibition of GFP fluorescence. Thus, GFP provides a useful marker for gene transfer by retroviral vectors and extends the range of applications for retroviral transduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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