Promoter activity of mouse κ opioid receptor gene in transgenic mouse

Xinli Hu, Sheng Cao, Horace H. Loh, Li Na Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


The biological activity of mouse κ opioid receptor (KOR) gene promoter was examined in transgenic mice using a β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter strategy for the first time. A lacZ cDNA was inserted at the 5th amino acid in the coding region of a mouse KOR genomic segment containing 3 kb of the 5' regulatory region, to generate a Kor-lacZ fusion gene which was then used to generate transgenic mice. The expression of transgene was demonstrated at the RNA level by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and at the protein level by in situ lacZ enzyme assay. From studying three independent transgenic mouse lines that express this transgene, it is concluded that Kor-lacZ expression begins at embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5) and increases in several brain areas and neural tube as embryos develop. At E12.5 and E13.5, Kor-lacZ expression is found primarily in the mantle layer of midbrain, hindbrain and medulla oblongata, cranial ganglion and vagus nerve. At E15.5 and E17.5, the transgene is expressed in eye, ear, neopallial cortex, caudate putamen, lateral ventricle, thalamus, hypothalamus and pons. Therefore, the 3 kb 5' regulatory sequence of the mouse KOR gene is functional in transgenic animals and directs a specific expression pattern recapitulating that of the endogenous KOR gene expression during developmental stages. However, in adult animals, this transgene is only expressed in the brain, indicating that the regulatory information for peripheral expression in the adult is not encoded within this 3 kb upstream sequence. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 05 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo
  • Gene expression
  • Kappa opioid receptor
  • Promoter
  • Transgenic mouse


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