ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180428-5
Cell Lineage Tracing in Zebrafish Embryos with an Expanded Genetic Code
Brown, W., Liu, J., Tsang, M., Deiters, A.
Date: 2018
Source: Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology   19(12): 1244-1249 (Other)
Registered Authors: Tsang, Michael
Keywords: DNA recombination, lineage tracing, optogenetics, unnatural amino acid, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Cell Tracking/methods*
  • Genetic Code*
  • Integrases/chemistry
  • Integrases/genetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Optogenetics/methods*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
PubMed: 29701891 Full text @ Chembiochem
Cell lineage tracing is used to study embryo development, stem cell differentiation, and to document tumor cell heterogeneity. Cre recombinase-mediated cell labelling is the preferred approach; however, its utility is restricted by when and where DNA recombination takes place. We generated a photoactivatable Cre recombinase by replacing a critical residue in its active site with a photocaged lysine derivative through genetic code expansion in zebrafish embryos. This allows for high spatiotemporal control of DNA recombination using 405 nm light. Importantly, no background activity is seen before irradiation, and after light-triggered removal of the caging group, Cre recombinase activity is restored. We demonstrate the utility of this tool as a cell lineage tracer through activation in different regions and at different time-points in the early embryo. Direct control of Cre recombinase with light will allow for more precise DNA recombination for more nuanced studies of metazoan development and disease.