Characterization of a Dazl-GFP germ cell-specific reporter

Cory R. Nicholas, Eugene Y. Xu, Salman F. Banani, Robert E Hammer, Franklin K Hamra, Renee A. Reijo Pera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In this study, we characterized the promoter activity of a 1.7 kb sequence in the 5′ flanking region of the mouse Deleted in Azoospermia-Like (Dazl) gene. We found the 1.7 kb sequence sufficient to drive robust germ cell-specific expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in adult mouse testis and lower levels of expression in adult ovary and in fetal and newborn gonads of both sexes. This expression pattern was confirmed in two independently-derived transgenic mouse lines. In adult testis, Dazl-GFP exhibited a developmentally-regulated, stage-specific expression pattern during spermatogenesis. GFP was highly expressed in spermatocyte stages, with strongest expression in pachytene spermatocytes. Weaker expression was observed in round and elongating spermatids, as well as spermatogonial cells. In the fetal gonad, GFP transcript was detected by e12.5 in both sexes; however, GFP fluorescence was only detected during later embryonic stages. In addition, we produced mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines harboring the Dazl-GFP reporter and used this reporter to isolate putative germ cell populations derived from mouse ESCs following embryoid body differentiation and fluorescence activated cell sorting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Dazl
  • ES
  • Embryonic stem
  • GFP
  • Germ cell
  • Ovary
  • Primordial germ
  • Reporter
  • Testis
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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