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Genesis. 2018 Feb;56(2). doi: 10.1002/dvg.23087. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

The mito::mKate2 mouse: A far-red fluorescent reporter mouse line for tracking mitochondrial dynamics in vivo.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.
Program in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.
Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Mitochondria are incredibly dynamic organelles that undergo continuous fission and fusion events to control morphology, which profoundly impacts cell physiology including cell cycle progression. This is highlighted by the fact that most major human neurodegenerative diseases are due to specific disruptions in mitochondrial fission or fusion machinery and null alleles of these genes result in embryonic lethality. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of such disorders, tools for the in vivo assessment of mitochondrial dynamics are required. It would be particularly advantageous to simultaneously image mitochondrial fission-fusion coincident with cell cycle progression. To that end, we have generated a new transgenic reporter mouse, called mito::mKate2 that ubiquitously expresses a mitochondria localized far-red mKate2 fluorescent protein. Here we show that mito::mKate2 mice are viable and fertile and that mKate2 fluorescence can be spectrally separated from the previously developed Fucci cell cycle reporters. By crossing mito::mKate2 mice to the ROSA26R-mTmG dual fluorescent Cre reporter line, we also demonstrate the potential utility of mito::mKate2 for genetic mosaic analysis of mitochondrial phenotypes.


far-red fluorescence; live imaging; mitochondria

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