Heat shock protein promoters (hsp promoters) are powerful tools for investigating gene functions, as the expression of targeted genes can be controlled simply by heating. However, there have been no reports of the utilization of an endogeneous medaka (Oryzias latipes) hsp promoter to induce exogenous gene expression in medaka. We identified and cloned a functional medaka hsp promoter (olphsp70.1) and verified its ability to act as an inducible promoter both in vitro and in vivo. The hsp promoter efficiently induced exogenous gene expression in cultured cells, developing embryos, and also in adult fishes. When used to control the expression of Venus, a variant of yellow fluorescent protein, in transgenic medaka, the hsp promoter was functional in all tissues except for the gonads of adults. These results indicate that the medaka hsp promoter can be a powerful tool for inducing exogenous gene expression and investigating gene functions both in vitro and in vivo in medaka.
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