We propose to develop a genetic mosaic system in mice that allows simultaneous labeling and genetic manipulation of defined neuronal populations, down to the level of single isolated neurons in vivo. This system, which we have named """"""""MADM"""""""" (for Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers), utilizes two hybrid marker genes knocked-in at identical locations on homologous chromosomes. Each marker gene is interrupted by a loxP-containing intron and neither expresses a functional protein. Only upon Cre-mediated recombination between the two loxP sites on the homologous chromosomes are functional marker genes restored. Depending on the cell-cycle stage at which recombination takes place and the segregation pattern of the chromosomes after recombination, daughter cells are labeled with one or both markers. We have preliminary results indicating that MADM can be used to generate, with high efficiency, inter-chromosomal exchanges in both postmitotic neurons and in dividing neural precursors. By further developing this method and its variations we will be able to label defined neuronal populations and single neurons with genetically encoded markers, in live or fixed brains. It will also be possible to create genetic mosaics such that cells expressing the first functional marker are homozygous mutant for a gene of interest, whereas cells expressing the second functional marker are homozygous wild type, while the rest of the animal is heterozygous. MADM will allow investigation of the relationship between cell lineage and neural circuits during development, tracing of neural circuits in the adult nervous system, and conditional knock-out of candidate genes of interest as well as overexpression of transgenes in single isolated neurons. This method can also be used to create mouse models for human diseases such as loss of heterozygosity in cancer and neurological diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-MDCN-B (55))
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Mamounas, Laura
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Stanford University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Luo, Liqun; Callaway, Edward M; Svoboda, Karel (2018) Genetic Dissection of Neural Circuits: A Decade of Progress. Neuron 98:865
Luo, Liqun; Callaway, Edward M; Svoboda, Karel (2018) Genetic Dissection of Neural Circuits: A Decade of Progress. Neuron 98:256-281
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