As with zebrafish, attention has focused on the teleost medaka Oryzias latipes as an experimental animal representative of non-mammalian vertebrates in various fields of biological science. To enable real-time analyses of the dynamics of nuclei and chromosomes in living medaka cells, we produced a transgenic medaka expressing a fusion protein between histone H2B and green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Since the nuclei and chromosomes of transgenic medaka cells are labeled with GFP, their morphological changes can be instantly monitored throughout the mitotic cell cycle progression under a fluorescent microscope without any fixation and staining of samples. However, GFP-labeling of nuclei and chromosomes is not successful during early embryonic development until zygotic expression begins and during the meiotic cell cycle progression, because the CMV promoter does not work in these stages. In addition, histone H2B-GFP fusion proteins are expressed in an organ-specific manner; strong and ubiquitous expression occurs in cells comprising the gut and fin, whereas the expression is restricted to certain types of cells in the liver and brain. These findings suggest that the CMV-driven expression of the histone H2B-GFP transgene is modified depending on the integration site of the transgene in the genome. Nevertheless, easy and precise monitoring of cytological changes in nuclei and chromosomes in the majority of mitotic cells by using the transgenic medaka will greatly contribute to a better understanding of control mechanisms of nuclear and chromosomal behaviors in vertebrate cells.
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