Establishment of oct4:gfp transgenic zebrafish line for monitoring cellular multipotency by GFP fluorescence

Hiroyuki Kato, Kota Abe, Shinpei Yokota, Rinta Matsuno, Tsuyoshi Mikekado, Hayato Yokoi, Tohru Suzuki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The establishment of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology in fish could facilitate the establishment of novel cryopreservation techniques for storing selected aquaculture strains as frozen cells. In order to apply iPS cell technology to fish, we established a transgenic zebrafish line, Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP), using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression under the control of the oct4 gene promoter as a marker to evaluate multipotency in iPS cell preparations. We used the oct4 promoter from fugu (Takifugu rubripes) due to the compact nature of the fugu genome and to facilitate future applications of this technology in marine fishes. During embryogenesis, maternal GFP fluorescence was observed at the cleavage stage and zygotic GFP expression was observed from the start of the shield stage until approximately 24 h after fertilization. gfp messenger RNA (mRNA) was expressed by whole embryonic cells at the shield stage, and then restricted to the caudal neural tube in the latter stages of embryogenesis. These observations showed that GFP fluorescence and the regulation of gfp mRNA expression by the exogenous fugu oct4 promoter are well suited for monitoring endogenous oct4 mRNA expression in embryos. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the rate of CpG methylation in the transgenic oct4 promoter was high in adult cells (98%) and low in embryonic cells (37%). These findings suggest that, as with the endogenous oct4 promoter, demethylation and methylation both take place normally in the transgenic oct4 promoter during embryogenesis. The embryonic cells harvested at the shield stage formed embryonic body-like cellular aggregates and maintained GFP fluorescence for 6 d when cultured on Transwell-COL Permeable Supports or a feeder layer of adult fin cells. Loss of GFP fluorescence by cultured cells was correlated with cellular differentiation. We consider that the Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP) zebrafish line established here is well suited for monitoring multipotency in multipotent zebrafish cell cultures and for iPS cell preparation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-49
    Number of pages8
    JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


    • Danio rerio
    • GFP
    • Multipotency
    • Oct4
    • Transgenic fish

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology


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