Transgenic Zebrafish with Vascular Specific Expression of Exogenous Genes Driven by the Zebrafish Fli-1 Promoter

The technology portrayed in this invention is available through a Biological Materials License for research tools and diagnostic tests. Zebrafish are an important and valuable model system for high-throughput mutational or pharmacological screens for genes or molecules with important roles in blood vessel growth or differentiation. This invention consists of germline transgenic zebrafish lines in which the expression of green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is driven by zebrafish Fli-1 promoter sequences. These transgenic lines display bright, uniform, and persistent expression of EGFP protein throughout the vascular system. The Fli promoter also drives transient EGFP expression in cranial neural crest and its derivatives. The transgenics allow straightforward, noninvasive fluorescent visualization of virtually all blood vessels in the animal throughout embryonic and early larval development.

These Fli-EGFP transgenics have a number of potential applications. They can be used to help identify endogenous genes important for blood vessel formation, either by screening mutagenized transgenic embryos for vascular specific mutants or by preparing vascular specific cDNA libraries for use in novel gene discovery. They also provide an efficient method for performing high-throughput in vivo screening for antiangiogenic or proangiogenic drugs and other compounds. Using transgenic zebrafish for these screens has the added benefit of simultaneously revealing toxic and teratogenic effects of the tested agents on a whole, developing organism.


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Updated: Jun 16, 2010