Imaging splicing in vivo using reporter mice

Imaging technologies are influencing the way we study regulatory processes in vivo. Several groups have just taken advantage of imaging technologies to develop reporters capable of reflecting alternative splicing events in living organisms such as rodents and worms. Now a detailed protocol in which these advances are explained step by step appeared in the Vol 2 No 9 (2007) of Nature Protocols, a online resource for authoritative and peer-reviewed protocols: Vivian I Bonano and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center, developed a fluorescence reporter named "Gint" that use enhanced GFP (EGFP) expression as an indication of silencing in vivo. The transgenic model can be analyzed both by macro-imaging and epifluorescence microscopy, and the strategy described can be adapted also to examine other types of alternative splicing and other RNA processing events. In vivo imaging is the brightest application of reporter genes.